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Act of Congress

Act of Congress Author Robert G. Kaiser
ISBN-10 9780307744517
Release 2014
Pages 417
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This is an account of how Congress today really works, and doesn't, that follows the dramatic journey of the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of 2008. The founding fathers expected Congress to be the most important branch of government and gave it the most power. When Congress is broken, as its justifiably dismal approval ratings suggest, so is our democracy. Here, the author, whose career at The Washington Post has made him a keen and knowledgeable observer of Congress, takes us behind the sound bites to expose the protocols, players, and politics of the House and Senate, revealing both the triumphs of the system and (more often) its fundamental flaws. This book tells the story of the Dodd-Frank Act, named for the two men who made it possible: Congressman Barney Frank, brilliant and sometimes abrasive, who mastered the details of financial reform, and Senator Chris Dodd, who worked patiently for months to fulfill his vision of a Senate that could still work on a bipartisan basis. Both Frank and Dodd collaborated with the author throughout their legislative efforts and allowed their staffs to share every step of the drafting and deal making that produced the 1,500-page law that transformed America's financial sector. The author explains how lobbying affects a bill, or fails to. We follow staff members more influential than most senators and congressmen. We see how Congress members protect their own turf, often without regard for what might best serve the country, moreeager to court television cameras than legislate on complicated issues about which many of them remain ignorant. In this book the author shows how ferocious partisanship regularly overwhelms all other considerations, though occasionally individual integrity prevails.



Act of Congress

Act of Congress Author Robert G. Kaiser
ISBN-10 9780307700162
Release 2013
Pages 417
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Documents the journey of a financial reform bill in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse by focusing on two of the major players behind the legislation--Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd.



Act of Congress

Act of Congress Author Robert G. Kaiser
ISBN-10 9780307962188
Release 2013-05-07
Pages 448
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A Washington Post Notable Book An eye-opening account of how Congress today really works—and how it doesn’t— Act of Congress focuses on two of the major players behind the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of 2008: colorful, wisecracking congressman Barney Frank, and careful, insightful senator Christopher Dodd, both of whom met regularly with Robert G. Kaiser during the eighteen months they worked on the bill. In this compelling narrative, Kaiser shows how staffers play a critical role, drafting the legislation and often making the crucial deals. Kaiser’s rare insider access enabled him to illuminate the often-hidden intricacies of legislative enterprise and shows us the workings of Congress in all of its complexity, a clearer picture than any we have had of how Congress works best—or sometimes doesn’t work at all.



The Waxman Report

The Waxman Report Author Henry Waxman
ISBN-10 9780446545679
Release 2009-07-02
Pages 256
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At a time when some of the most sweeping national initiatives in decades are being debated, Congressman Henry Waxman offers a fascinating inside account of how Congress really works by describing the subtleties and complexities of the legislative process. For four decades, Waxman has taken visionary and principled positions on crucial issues and been a driving force for change. Because of legislation he helped champion, our air is cleaner, our food is safer, and our medical care better. Thanks to his work as a top watchdog in Congress, crucial steps have been taken to curb abuses on Wall Street, to halt wasteful spending in Iraq, and to ban steroids from Major League Baseball. Few legislators can match his accomplishments or his insights on how good work gets done in Washington. In this book, Waxman affords readers a rare glimpse into how this is achieved-the strategy, the maneuvering, the behind-the-scenes deals. He shows how the things we take for granted (clear information about tobacco's harmfulness, accurate nutritional labeling, important drugs that have saved countless lives) started out humbly-derided by big business interests as impossible or even destructive. Sometimes, the most dramatic breakthroughs occur through small twists of fate or the most narrow voting margin. Waxman's stories are surprising because they illustrate that while government's progress may seem glacial, much is happening, and small battles waged over years can yield great results. At a moment when so much has been written about what's wrong with Congress-the grid­lock, the partisanship, the influence of interest groups-Henry Waxman offers sophisticated, concrete examples of how govern­ment can (and should) work.



Politics Position and Power

Politics  Position  and Power Author Harold Seidman
ISBN-10 0195090721
Release 1998
Pages 268
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The fifth edition of this classic text presents a concise study of the United States government in the 1990's, highlighting the constitutional implications of the current debate among anti-government revolutionaries, privatizers, and government reinventors about the governments purpose. It analyzes the legal, political, and organizational consequences of arguments which contend that there has ceased to be a realistic distinction between what is public and what is private. Seidman demonstrates how control of regulations, rather than structure, has become the center of the struggle for position and power, and by describing the logic behind the politics that influence federal agencies, he provides a detailed account of the limits of government performance and the most appropriate instruments for improvement. Completely updated and revised to cover such significant developments as the Clinton-Gore National Performance Review and the Gingrich revolution, this text shows how structural reorganization and procedures may be used to achieve political purposes and to alter the balance of power among the president, congress, judiciary, and interest groups. A provocative chapter entitled Amputation Before Diagnosis is critical in explaining the failure to relate proposed reforms to specific strategic goals. With its sound scholarship and unique personal insights, this new edition of Politics, Position, and Power is not only an ideal text for political science courses focusing on public administration, it is also an essential resource for understanding present trends in American government and public administration.



The Unbanking of America

The Unbanking of America Author Lisa Servon
ISBN-10 9780544611184
Release 2017-01-10
Pages 272
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An urgent, absorbing exposé—why Americans are fleeing our broken banking system in growing numbers, and how alternatives are rushing in to do what banks once did What do an undocumented immigrant in the South Bronx, a high-net-worth entrepreneur, and a twenty-something graduate student have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream bank and credit system. Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers, while serving only the wealthiest Americans. Lisa Servon delivers a stunning indictment of America’s banks, together with eye-opening dispatches from inside a range of banking alternatives that have sprung up to fill the void. She works as a teller at RiteCheck, a check-cashing business in the South Bronx, and as a payday lender in Oakland. She looks closely at the workings of a tanda, an informal lending club. And she delivers fascinating, hopeful portraits of the entrepreneurs reacting to the unbanking of America by designing systems to creatively serve many of us. Banks were once essential pillars of our lives; now we can no longer count on them to do right by us. "Required reading for fans of muckraking authors like Barbara Ehrenreich, this fascinating look at the future of money management insists that the 'unbanked' are a sector deserving of respect and solid options." —Publishers Weekly, starred review



The Color of Law A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

The Color of Law  A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America Author Richard Rothstein
ISBN-10 9781631492860
Release 2017-05-02
Pages 336
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"Rothstein has presented what I consider to be the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation." —William Julius Wilson In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation—that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north. As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post–World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. “The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book” (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein’s invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.



Inside Congress

Inside Congress Author Trevor Corning
ISBN-10 9780815727347
Release 2017-07-25
Pages 60
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Required reading for anyone who wants to understand how to work within Congress. The House and Senate have unique rules and procedures to determine how legislation moves from a policy idea to law. Evolved over the last 200 years, the rules of both chambers are designed to act as the engine for that process. Each legislative body has its own leadership positions to oversee this legislative process. To the novice, whether a newly elected representative, a lawmaker’s staff on her first day at work, or a constituent visiting Washington, the entire process can seem incomprehensible. What is an open rule for a House Appropriations bill and how does it affect consideration? Why are unanimous consent agreements needed in the Senate? The authors of Inside Congress, all congressional veterans, have written the definitive guide to how Congress really works. It is the accessible and necessary resource to understanding and interpreting procedural tools, arcane precedents, and the role of party politics in the making of legislation in Congress.



Fear Itself The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time

Fear Itself  The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time Author Ira Katznelson
ISBN-10 9780871404503
Release 2013-03-01
Pages 706
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An exploration of the New Deal era highlights the politicians and pundits of the time, many of whom advocated for questionable positions, including separation of the races and an American dictatorship.



The Righteous Mind

The Righteous Mind Author Jonathan Haidt
ISBN-10 9780307455772
Release 2013
Pages 500
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Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.



A Question Of Intent

A Question Of Intent Author David Kessler
ISBN-10 9780786731022
Release 2002-03-21
Pages 512
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Tobacco companies had been protecting their turf for decades. They had congressmen in their pocket. They had corrupt scientists who made excuses about nicotine, cancer and addiction. They had hordes of lawyers to threaten anyone—inside the industry or out—who posed a problem. They had a whole lot of money to spend. And they were good at getting people to do what they wanted them to do. After all, they had already convinced millions of Americans to take up an addictive, unhealthy, and potentially deadly habit. David Kessler didn't care about all that. In this book he tells for the first time the thrilling detective story of how the underdog FDA—while safeguarding the nation's food, drugs, and blood supply—finally decided to take on one of the world's most powerful opponents, and how it won. Like A Civil Action or And the Band Played On, A Question of Intent weaves together science, law, and fascinating characters to tell an important and often unexpectedly moving story. We follow Kessler's team of investigators as they race to find the clues that will allow the FDA to assert jurisdiction over cigarettes, while the tobacco companies and their lawyers fight back—hard. Full of insider information and drama, told with wit, and animated by its author's moral passion, A Question of Intent reads like a Grisham thriller, with one exception—everything in it is true.



The Speechwriter

The Speechwriter Author Barton Swaim
ISBN-10 9781476769967
Release 2015-07-14
Pages 224
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Barton Swaim was struggling to find an academic job—he’d recently received a PhD in English—when he sent his resume to Mark Sanford, the conservative and controversial governor of South Carolina. He thought he could improve the governor’s writing and speeches. On the surface, this is the story of Sanford’s rise and fall. But it’s really an account of what happens when a band of believers attach themselves to an ambitious narcissist. Everyone knows this kind of politician—a charismatic maverick who goes up against the system and its ways, but thinks he doesn’t have to live by the rules. Swaim describes what makes people invest in their leaders, how those leaders do provide moments of inspiration, and then how they let them down. The Speechwriter is a funny and candid introduction to the world of politics, where press statements are purposefully nonsensical, grammatical errors are intentional, and better copy means more words. Through his three years in the governor’s office, Swaim paints a portrait of a man so principled he’d rather sweat than use state money to pay for air conditioning, so oblivious he’d wear the same stained shirt for two weeks, so egotistical he’d belittle his staffers to make himself feel better, and so self-absorbed he never once apologized for making his administration the laughing stock of the country. In the end, it’s also an account of the very human staffers who risk a life in politics out of conviction and learn to survive a broken heart.



Rethinking the Judicial Settlement of Reconstruction

Rethinking the Judicial Settlement of Reconstruction Author Pamela Brandwein
ISBN-10 9781139496964
Release 2011-02-21
Pages
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American constitutional lawyers and legal historians routinely assert that the Supreme Court's state action doctrine halted Reconstruction in its tracks. But it didn't. Rethinking the Judicial Settlement of Reconstruction demolishes the conventional wisdom - and puts a constructive alternative in its place. Pamela Brandwein unveils a lost jurisprudence of rights that provided expansive possibilities for protecting blacks' physical safety and electoral participation, even as it left public accommodation rights undefended. She shows that the Supreme Court supported a Republican coalition and left open ample room for executive and legislative action. Blacks were abandoned, but by the president and Congress, not the Court. Brandwein unites close legal reading of judicial opinions (some hitherto unknown), sustained historical work, the study of political institutions, and the sociology of knowledge. This book explodes tired old debates and will provoke new ones.



Can t We All Disagree More Constructively

Can t We All Disagree More Constructively Author Jonathan Haidt
ISBN-10 9780525433781
Release 2016-10-04
Pages 24
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As America descends deeper into polarization and paralysis, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done the seemingly impossible—he has explained the origins of morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum. Drawing on twenty-five years of groundbreaking research, Haidt shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and why we need the insights of each if we are to flourish as a nation. Here is the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation and the eternal curse of moralistic aggression, across the political divide and around the world. A Vintage Shorts Selection. An ebook short.



How Congress Works and Why You Should Care

How Congress Works and Why You Should Care Author Lee H. Hamilton
ISBN-10 0253110955
Release 2004-02-26
Pages 168
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How Congress Works and Why You Should Care is a concise introduction to the functions and vital role of the U.S. Congress by eminent former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton. Drawing on 34 years as a U.S. Representative, Hamilton explains how Congress reflects the diversity of the American people, serves as a forum for finding consensus, and provides balance within the federal government. Addressing widespread public misperceptions, he outlines areas where Congress can work better and ways for citizens to become more engaged in public affairs through their representatives in Washington. How Congress Works and Why You Should Care is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of Congress, and how all citizens can participate in its unique mission.



How Democracies Die

How Democracies Die Author Steven Levitsky
ISBN-10 9781524762933
Release 2018
Pages 320
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Fateful alliances -- Gatekeeping in America -- The great Republican abdication -- Subverting democracy -- The guardrails of democracy -- The unwritten rules of American politics -- The unraveling -- Trump against the guardrails -- Saving democracy



The Fiery Trial Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

The Fiery Trial  Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery Author Eric Foner
ISBN-10 039308082X
Release 2011-09-26
Pages 448
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“A masterwork [by] the preeminent historian of the Civil War era.”—Boston Globe Selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, this landmark work gives us a definitive account of Lincoln's lifelong engagement with the nation's critical issue: American slavery. A master historian, Eric Foner draws Lincoln and the broader history of the period into perfect balance. We see Lincoln, a pragmatic politician grounded in principle, deftly navigating the dynamic politics of antislavery, secession, and civil war. Lincoln's greatness emerges from his capacity for moral and political growth.