“The Truths We Hold” and more delusions of grandeur – Amanda Green


“The Truths We Hold” and more delusions of grandeur-  Amanda Green

I know, I know. I was supposed to continue my review/commentary on Kamala Harris’ so-called memoir, The Truths We Hold. I still plan to but, having come to the end of the free sample, I simply couldn’t bring myself to buy the book. Not only is it drastically over-priced for an e-book, but I don’t want to give a single penny to the woman. I especially don’t want to do it for a book that is nothing more than a thinly veiled campaign speech.

So, as I sat here this morning trying to figure out what to write about, I let my fingers do the walking through the internet. There were the expected stories about Cory “I am Spartacus” Booker declaring he’s going to run for president. How many memes will that generate? Then there was the story about Elizabeth “Fauxcahauntus” Warren apologizing to the Cherokee Nation for claiming to be Native American (about time, says this descendant of someone born on the Trail of Tears). There are so many Democrats already lining up for their chance to unseat Trump that you already need a scorecard.

Hell, you know it’s going to be bad when Rolling Stone lists 15—FIFTEEN—campaign books “you need to know” for the upcoming election.

And no, I am not going to read all 15. I value my life and my sanity too much to do that. Still, curiosity had me looking to see what Rolling Stone had to say.

I probably shouldn’t be surprised that they started out with Harris’ book. Right now, she is the darling of the Left, right down to all the comparisons she’s been getting to Obama. Rolling Stone says the books walks us through her “really impressive resumé” while clearly contrasting herself with Trump. Duh. Of interest is the little hint of displeasure when Rolling Stone notes that the book might leave you wanting because, while more personal that her previous book, it is still a “hyper-polished” look at her life and career. In other words, it is a campaign speech and not a real insight into who she is and what she holds important on a personal level.

Rolling Stone isn’t the only publication to come to that conclusion. Time has a rather lengthy discussion of the book online. Early on, it echoes my own sentiments, not only about this particular book but all books by politicians coming out at the beginning of a presidential election cycle:

“These books are never great literature. Harris moves through the steps of her own life at a dizzying pace, like a harried screenwriter trying to cram a 1,000-page novel into an hour and a half movie. But if books like this aren’t great for readers, they are helpful for voters, who can gain some insight through seeing which issues and personal stories their authors deems important enough to highlight. (One helpful point in Harris’ case: her name is pronounced comma-la.)”

That one paragraph sums up what I’ve seen of the book. This is a book of political talking points interspersed with personal stories, “highly polished” personal stories meant to influence voters. My suggestion? Remember that and consider her relationship with Willie Brown and his admission recently that not only did they sleep together but that he might have helped further her career.

I will return to the book when it is available for download from the library. I’m currently #3 on the waiting list, so probably in the next week or so.

But what else does Rolling Stone, in its infinite liberal mindset, say we should read before the next election?

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose by Joe Biden. Unlike Harris’ book, this one isn’t new. It is also a book that can be seen as humanizing Biden by recounting his relationship with his late son. It is, in short, a very different side of Biden than that of the vice-president who couldn’t seem to keep his hands to himself that we came to know during the Obama administration.

Next up from Rolling Stone is Elizabeth Warren’s This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class. Pardon me while I laugh hysterically. Like Biden’s book, it came out in 2017. Unlike “Promise Me, Dad”, it is not a personal memoir but a purely political one. It is also obvious, reading the blurb for the book, that she was gearing up for 2020. Get a load of this from the Amazon product page:

Warren grew up in Oklahoma, and she’s never forgotten how difficult it was for her mother and father to hold on at the ragged edge of the middle class. An educational system that offered opportunities for all made it possible for her to achieve her dream of going to college, becoming a teacher, and, later, attending law school. But now, for many, these kinds of opportunities are gone, and a government that once looked out for working families is instead captive to the rich and powerful. Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal ushered in an age of widespread prosperity; in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan reversed course and sold the country on the disastrous fiction called trickle-down economics. Now, with the election of Donald Trump—a con artist who promised to drain the swamp of special interests and then surrounded himself with billionaires and lobbyists—the middle class is being pushed ever closer to collapse.

Saint Franklin and his New Deal. Evil Ronnie Reagan. Con artist Trump. No, she didn’t have a single agenda when writing the book. If you believe that, I have this piece of land in Florida to sell you. At least there’s no mention of her Native American ancestry. I wonder if there was originally and it has now been excised out.

And Rolling Stones’ list just keeps getting better—or worse, depending on your point of view. There are books by Julian Castro and Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker. Among some of the others listed are John Hickenlooper, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bloomberg and Starbucks’ own Howard Schultz. There’s even a mention of South Bend mayor Peter Buttigieg’s upcoming book. Now, raise your hands, until some of these folks tossed their hats in the ring, how many of you had heard of them? And how many are going to sit down and read what they (or, more likely, their ghostwriters) have to say about how evil our country is and what they can do to “fix” it?

Two books did catch my eye—but not in the way that I’m going to rush out to read them. The first is John “Lurch” Kerry’s Every Day is Extra. This is another of those horribly over-priced e-books publishers hope will help drive e-book sales through the floor and reinvigorate print sales. Priced at basically $17, this is Kerry’s story of his “remarkable life.” Gag me. The only thing tempting me to read this is to find out what he has to say about Hillary since she is glaringly left out of the list of folks he remembers fondly or with humor in the book description.

The second book to catch my eye was Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico. This book, published in 2011, by Beto O’Rourke and fellow (sister?) city council member Susie Byrd. The topic shouldn’t be any surprise to those who have followed the skateboarding wunderkind’s run for Senate. The war on drugs doesn’t work. Just look at Cuidad Juarez. (Mind you, I agree in a lot of ways that the war on drugs has been far from successful.) My questions about this book come down to how much of it did Beto Baby really write and does he ever come out with a solid stance on anything? Or is this more of the same sidestep shuffle we saw during the campaign?

Why, you might ask, did Rolling Stone include this aged book, relatively speaking, with all the others? Because they are sure he will be running, or at least be someone’s running mate, and he hasn’t yet released his “get-t0-know-me” book. Really, Rolling Stone is showing its age. Doesn’t it realize all those livestream videos on Facebook Beto posted were his version of that? VBEG

I guess this has all been a pre-coffee way of saying I just wasn’t up to more Kamala Harris this morning. But, now that I’ve seen what the other side has out there in the way of other books to read, I am truly worried for the state of my sanity and my liver. I’ll finish the Harris book. Then I’ll start something else. But what? Which of the books from the Rolling Stone article would you like me to take on?

Or how about his? Why don’t we start pulling together our own list of books by conservative or libertarian candidates that we think voters should read before the 2020 primaries? Leave your comments below and we’ll see just how far my sanity and liver can go before I throw in the towel and declare defeat.

197 thoughts on ““The Truths We Hold” and more delusions of grandeur – Amanda Green

  1. Ah, yes, Rolling Stone. The political magazine that occasionally does music articles.

    1. The Stone has only ever had two good writers. Hunter Thompson is dead, and PJ O’Rourke doesn’t write for them anymore.

      1. They should get “credit” for Dave Marsh (IIRC) glomping on to Bruce Springsteen and convincing The Boss he’s an important poet of American Decline, a la Woody Guthrie, instead of a passably ass-kicking rock-n-roller.

        Because America had a severe shortage of pretentious gits.

  2. Oh good grief – the ongoing Democrat Party train wreck just keeps piling up more cars, doesn’t it?

      1. “I haven’t had a TV signal since… oh.. 2009.”
        “No TV in nearly 10 years! How do you manage?!”
        “Know how many campaign commercials I have to sit through? NONE.”
        “You lucky sonuva[BLEEEP]!

        1. Barring sports coverage that I saw in passing while my Lady watched, I haven’t indulged in broadcast television in over a quarter of a century. I HAVE dipped into a few TV shows that turned up on Prime or Neflix, and barring Dr. Who I haven’t been wildly impressed.

          Part of the problem is the bias, sure. But more of it was the shift to long story arcs. Probably a good artistic move, on the whole, but I lack the stamina. It didn’t help that the first such show that held any sort of interest for me was X-FILES…and it made me giggle. Having read both ILLUMINATUS and the SCHRODINGER’S CAT trilogy, I’m find I’m heavily immunized against Conspiracy Narratives.

          1. Interesting, having read both (and AFTER I read the Principia which is odd for my generation) I love conspiracy narratives. I collect them, grade them, and now and then try to start them.

            1. Oh, I don’t DISLIKE Conspiracy narratives. I just find them funny. Which kind of undermined the whole atmosphere of THE X-FILES.

              May I recommend (if you don’t know it) CONSPIRACIES, CULTS, AND COVER-UPS by Robert Anton Wilson. It’s an encyclopedia of Conspiracy Narratives that completely fails to take them or itself seriously. Oh, it isn’t going Mad Magazine/SNL on them, but it completely omits the usual (for such Narratives) breathless ‘they’re all out to get us’ tone.

              1. Yep.

                I think I was doomed when I read the Illuminatus trilogy. As I said, I was rare for people my age in that I read The Principia Discordia first. Having read it, I immediately created my own Discordian cult/group/whatever (I even have business cards for it somewhere).

                Then I read the trilogy and my fate was revealed. Without knowing what I was doing I had named my Discordian sect “The Church of the Cult of the Incarnations of Marilyn Monroe.” You can imagine what the reveal of a certain character’s history did to my mental state when I go to that part of the trilogy.

        2. I guess it’s one of the benefits of my viewing habits, I saw maybe one political ad, and a side benefit, the commercial radio station I listen to refuses to run any political ads.

        3. $SPOUSE watches TV while knitting. She’ll catch news and Deplorable opinion shows (I get my Vast Right Wing Conspiracy on line), and a smattering of other shows. Some of this is live, others DVR.

          I catch 2.5 hours worth of commercial broadcast (NCIS, NCIS-NOLA and Last Man Standing) along with some PBS stuff (mysteries, This Old Trainwreck and such. FWIW, I’m hooked on A Craftman’s Legacy.)

          The broadcast stuff I watch is all DVR delayed. It’s a godsend. I can skip every commercial, including the several minutes around PBS shows. The only political ads I have to endure are when I have the radio on, and 2 of our vehicles let me use thumb drives for music

          1. MavTV is what is on my tv 90% of the time, even though today, it has MMA fighting most of the day, but I DVR two racing shows on first thing in the morning . . . one, Max Speed is from Greenlight in the UK, had Real Road Racing, the other is Speedweek from Australia and has Shannons Nationals racing, and often has drifting I don’t care for (update while typing: they went with Aussie Superbike racing, so score!). Otherwise I watch the occasional show on Science, and Later With Jools Holland DVRed from DircTv’s HD additional channels (on MTV live iirc)
            Been seriously considering dropping my TV package, and going streaming only. Mav is owned by Lucas Oil, and for $99/year you can watch most all the programs and even live events at lucasoilracing.tv and exceot for new programs of Outrageous Acts Of Science, I watch less and less Discover networks stuff. I used to prefer NBC coverage of F1, but ESPN now has it, and just rebroadcasts Sky’s British coverage, and I can get that streamed, and lose the commercials. But really F1 is climbing up the suckage ranks. MotoGP isn’t available on DirecT (DTV and most cableCos dropped its US Rights holding channel), so I’ve been watching it on streams of BTsport (and I’ve the hots for Suzi Perry).
            Drawback is not able to “DVR” the streams, but the MavTV stuff is On Demand, and well, I watched almost none of the DVRed F1,
            News etc is already all online, Watching Fox News makes my teeth itch, and forget everything else. not worth it. Learn more from Insty and Watts Up anyhow.

            1. I’m mostly YouTube these days, mostly DIY stuff of shifting types (lately a lot of electronics and DIY synths), some deplorable political content (Tim Pool, Sargon, Dave Rubin, etc), some music, and some history (there is a great channel on battleships and cruisers, for example).

              If C would let me I’d probably drop Netflix at this point.

              1. Also do a lot of YT. Time Ghost stuff is great (loved The Great War which was bought from TG), do Diresta, Pask, etc DIY stuff, Big fan of This Old Tony, Hand Tool Rescue, and via Tony Wintergaten, and Alex French Guy Cooking, for sports Project Binkie, and Lyndon Poskitt’s Races To Places. My favorites are likely C&Rsenal, and the , erm, “mastery” of the English language that is AvE.

                1. Oh, I watch a lot of Diresta, Pask, and This Old Tony as well as April Wilkerson, Laura Kampf, and Cristiana from Get Hands Dirty.

                  Food of late has been Guga Food and The Wolfe Pit (from whom I learned to make my own Spam at home).

                  I’m still missing The Ben Heck Show.

                  1. I love how TOT gets people, Adam at Abom79 especially, to give those cameos.
                    Also I’ve watched a lot of EngelsCoachShop lately.
                    When April did her gates at their new place, I realized I recognized the hill in the back with compound atop it. They often said FT Worth area but when you get out to Glen Rose area, that’s pushing it a bit.
                    Can’t wait to see the new log mill Matt Cremona was out helping her with this.
                    I shouldn’t have to mention I watch all the new Maru and Simon’s Cat stuff that comes out, right?

                2. My bandwidth is limited (satellite internet with no viable alternative broadband available) and the upgrade that Hughes is pushing doesn’t sound very good. So, very little video, except maybe on the day before my quota resets.

                  I’ve seen a little bit of live racing; the most fun were the classic car races at Laguna Seca. This was in the ’70s, and somehow, they didn’t mind an ordinary person going to the inside of a corner (between the fence and the Armco rails) and taking pics.

                  Got to see Mark Donahue and Jody Scheckter race Formula 5000 at Elkhart Lake in the early 70s. Live roadracing wasn’t a great spectator sport there and then, but the pit pass was worth it.

                  For sheer basic racing, one of the towns in the SF Bay area had a dirt quarter mile track. Sprint cars are kind of fun, though goggles come in handy if you’re anywhere near track level.

                  1. “Gee, why are the first 4 rows down by turn 1 empty? Lets go sit there!”
                    My first screen nem was Turn1man because I stood inside turn 1 at dirt tracks, taking photos. WoO sprints are hard to keep in frame, they move so fast. I got one cover shot of Sammy Swindell going into 1 so fast, when he tossed the car sideways, it lifted the outside front tire off the ground.
                    Also drove a few races in a mini stock Mustang II. Lost a bit of hearing to that.

                    1. I had an MGB where the soft top was absurdly noisy on the left side on the highway. Of course, between loud music in my misspent youth and range time (protip: put the ear protectors on before you approach the firing line; somebody’s .44 Mag taught me that), the nerve damage is real.

                      Laguna Seca has some great viewpoints for photography, especially if you can shoot from the pits or a couple of corners where the twisty downhill section is. Elkhart Lake is probably best enjoyed on TV, unless they changed the track layout a lot since the early 70s.

                    2. Little change to Road America. you see very little people when you see in car footage of races there.
                      The Corkscrew at Laguna is so beloved, the Spanish made a reverse version at one of their tracks, so while we don’t get to see MotoGP do the left right tango, we still get something similar there.
                      I’ve done photo work at Five Flags in Pensacola for the Snowball Derby. There were about 6 of us standing against the armco and there was a crash, with the cars sliding down the track to impact within arms reach of where I was. All the Photogs but me, and one other guy ran away (insert Monty Python scene here). I looked at him as the others were drifting back to get aftermath shots, and asked “What dirt track do you shoot at?”
                      One of the asphalt guys said “How you know he works at a dirt track?” Because, like me, he stood here shooting, and the fellow dirt guy said “Yeah, we don’t have a wall to stand behind there! Why y’all runnin’ away?” Turned out, we both were shooting for the same two people, presswise.

                    3. Spring Car races were where I learned that there is no hearing protection good enough to watch an evening of sprint car races.

                      I had a boss who raced stock cars. We were expected to attend at least two races/month during the season. I like tractor pulls much better, although the guy who busted safety regs, lost a tire, and it took out the referee’s windshield when the tire and wheel bounced into the parking lot? Priceless. I learned some new Scandinavian and Low German vocabulary lip-reading the ref.

                    4. At the classic car races, some guy was trying to get his Ferrari running on all 12 cylinders, using the full throttle method. It was entertaining, but absurdly loud, until the last two cylinders started working…

                      At the Bay Area Engine Modelers, one of the members was showing off his working “model” of the Wright 4 engine, as used in the Vin Fizz cross country race. The scale was 1:1 (later installed in a replica of the VF at the San Mateo museum), and it was rather loud.

                      And that hearing loss had nothing to do with the otosclerosis (fixable with prosthetic stapes) that made my life interesting in the 80s and 90s.

                    5. Motorcycles, guns, and rock’n’roll…

                      Though the most memorable event wasn’t really that noisy; I was at least twenty feet from Dusty Argons when she launched her jet-powered tractor… I mean, it was so noisy my vision blurred because my glasses were vibrating, but the fun part was the hail of glass as she blew a lane through the eight-foot flourescent tubes that were lighting the indoor stadium. (note: “indoor” and “jet engine” are not really meant to go together…)

                      The exhaust from the tractor was turned up, and it was enough to blow the lights out of their fixtures. She kept the hammer down all the way, though honestly, the exhaust plume was probably protecting her from the glass…

              2. Oh, and I forgot, The Yogi Berra of boat building! Louis at Tips From A Shipwright.
                and, and, and
                I watch a lot now.
                Slow Mo Guys
                Sail Life
                Drake Paragon
                etc etc

                1. Found my People!
                  I swear, y’all are reading my YT subscription list! At least the Guns,cars, and DIY parts!
                  In addition to boatbuilders there are several cruising channels that I watch, Learning the Lines, Sailing Yacht Talisman (current favorite).

                  Now if only I could find a decent way to sort and manage my subscribed channels, I would be happy(well happier).

        4. TV in PNG is unreliable and expensive, so I mostly watch my massive collection of MST 3k dvd’s.
          Should I have youtoob, it’s usually on the Hack Frauds at Red Letter Media.

          1. I actually use Facebook for like six things and the upcoming loss of G+ means that’ll double.

            That said, I do keep it in its own browser.

      1. I’m keeping track for government class, but only of those who have paid their money and are officially filed and running.

    1. Maybe the list includes people who aren’t registering in enough states to take the national nomination?

    2. And I am trying to keep it that way.

      I have a retro computer to work on, a rack cabinet to build, and synth module parts to source inbetween my day job and trying to get four indie novels out this year.

      I don’t have time for the Kamala Harrises of the world.

      Yes, yes, I know one will make sure I have to give them time late next year and possibility for four years after, but I don’t have to worry about the whole lot this year.

        1. My initial plan is 2 matched VCO, a mixer, a VCF, a VCA, and at least one envelope generator.

          I’m still looking for a design to settle on for the VCO, but I think this one:


          or the 4069 one linked to the left. There are lots of designs out there. That said, I’m going to bread board anything first.

          Probably should pick up a signal generator for testing (I already have an oscilloscope). Wonder if I can build one around an Arduino.

          I also need to decide on either a MIDI to CSV module or build a CV keyboard. The latter is tempting for the challenge, but the former would be much more straight forward.

          I’m going to go with a 5U format, +/- 15V and +5 (and maybe -5) V power bank.

          Curious, have you build one or have an interest in building one?

          1. Instead of building a modular, I’ve been buying semi-modulars… tho i seem to only occasionally use them as modulars. I’ve got a Roland System1m, a Moog Werkstatt, a Behringer D, and am probably going to get a Crave when they ship. Roomate has a MS-20 Mini so i should probably look at some type of hz/oct – hz/v converter.

            (Note these aren’t all my synths, just the ones with modular jacks. I am a VSE mod after all…)

            1. I’ve looked at a lot of them. The MS-20 is annoying with the different style.

              I’m mostly going DIY out of an interest in electronics as well as music. Once I get a few under my belt I’d like to try and design my own, which is how I justified the complete Electronotes collection (I suspect it will get me a “what, more paper” remark when it arrives 🙂 ).

              I would like to get a real Moog at some point regardless, and upgrade my two big virtual collections (I’m at least one version behind on both NI Komplete and Arturia V).

              Oh, and I need to practice more with the EWI and maybe upgrade from the USB to the new one.

              I really need to become independently wealthy so I have time for my hobbies.

              1. Seriously, just get a Behringer D. Same sound as the Moog, at a tenth the price. Moog needs to learn this thing called ‘mass production’ and ‘assembly line’.

          2. While I haven’t built one (yet, too much RL has always been in the way), I’ve always been around the edges of it since discovering Wendy (‘nee Walter) Carlos “Switched-on Bach” during my HS years in the early 70s. That led me to Musique concrète and the work in Electronic & Computer music at Columbia and Princeton, all which added several books and albums to the library… Then in ’77 while in Eng. School @ Vanderbilt, I got involved in some demonstrations of controlling miniMoogs and Arp 2600s from PDP-8’s and such (running a SNOBOL application implementing a couple of 17th C music algorithms..)

            Somewhere I *think* I might still have of PAiA’s first ever catalogs.

            My “broad spectrum of knowledge” led to a job as an assistant Lab Manager during my undergrad days at UTenn-CS. Found myself supporting projects to use EEGs to control a microcomputer, facility research in Unix & OS design, Apple II’s running LOGO, and early MIDI work.

            These days, in between the fencing club, housekeeping, and caregiver for the wife, I’m torn between focusing a tiny bit of time at virtual synths or building physical circuits… One of these days, right now I’m late to go fix a @#$#$ Ford van… :-/

            1. You used a lot of happy buzz word for me like PDP-8 (I’m trying to clone one in 74xx logic) and SNOBOL as well as MiniMoog and Arp 2600 (which I have virtual versions of).

              For those following this thread starting this month Everyday Practical Electronics (http://www.epemag.com/index.html) is starting a six month series on construct a semi-modular whose design is an expansion of Music from Outer Space synths.

  3. I, Orvan Taurus, do hereby announce my NON-candidacy for the Office of President of the United States of America.[1] There have been those who have tried to somewhere as “write-ins.” I make no such attempt. If anything, consider mine perhaps the first “write-out” candidacy. I have no party affiliation. My (non) platform, including any and all campaign promises (there are none, really!) is summed up as follows:


    [I’m Orvan Taurus, and I approve this message. I ought to, I wrote the danged thing!]

    [1] And I’m not running for Dog Catcher, either.

          1. Er… huh?
            I think one of us is a bit confusion.
            Granted, it might well be me.
            Old Overholt is a most acceptable rye.
            Old Forrester is quite acceptable bourbon.
            Old Grandad is good, if you want a bourbon with some rye bite.
            Old Crow… is on the bottom shelf for a reason, and I just had to go try it.

      1. Orvan has truly stepped in it this time. So far as I know, unlike Sarah, he is perfectly eligible. Outsiders are the big thing these days. And who wouldn’t want to see his first press conference, where he just might literally gore a few “journalists”?

                1. As duly anointed unrepresentative of candidate Ox:

                  Ox may be draft animal but ox slow. In words of General Wm T Sherman: if nominated ox not run, if elected ox not serve.

                  1. Also, since you seem to have assumed the mantle (or at least the crust) of this, you should know, to general relief I should hope, that at no time have I ever appeared in or worn blackface. I have, alas, been red-faced several times.

                    1. Look, if we were so lucky as to get an elected official that promised, and kept that promise, of doing absolutely nothing, that would be one that I would support wholeheartedly

    1. In the true spirit of #MeToo, I’ll throw my own hat from the ring as well. My principal disqualification is ruthless honesty. My platform will consist of proclaiming my inability to manage my own life, my reclusiveness, and my general unfitness for public office. I promise to confusticate and bebother potential supporters and donors, and opponents and critics alike. I will jam both feet in my mouth and keep them there. I promise not to chew my tobacco twice, smoke jimson weed, or fondle staves or knaves. I don’t beg, except that you give your support to a better, more honest, wiser man than I am.

      1. “I don’t beg, except that you give your support to a better, more honest, wiser man than I am.”
        You are being so specie-ist.
        What’s wrong with supporting a better, more honest and wiser minotaur than you?

        1. “more honest, wiser man than I am.”
          We are talking about someone running for President and by definition a Politian, I thought HONESTY was a disqualification?

    1. Pam, my library doesn’t carry a lot of this BS. Also, to be honest, I tend to read these as e-books so I can copy and paste the appropriate quotes to point and laugh at. The wait period for them can be lengthy.

  4. Where did Border Battlin’ Beto Bob get the $70 million dollars for his open-borders campaign? He only had 8,000 registered donors in all of Texas. How much of that $70 million was cartel money?

    1. Skip the cartels. Most of his stuff came from out of state because the Democrats really, really wanted the propaganda victory of a Democratic Senator from Texas.

    2. Through the DNC and Hollyweird. They loved them some Beto.

      Seriously, I can’t tell you the number of times Pelosi and company came to the state to help his campaign.

      1. “He’s Kennedy-esque!”
        Why do y’all go for the “Hit and Run Drunk Driving Kennedy” types instead of the “Lower Taxes to improve the economy” one?

  5. I know of Amy Klobuchar. In fact I actually met Amy Klobuchar at a union meet-and-greet when she initially ran for the Senate. (Surprise, Surprise, Surprise; the union endorsed her candidacy . . .) Her main qualification was that she was the daughter of beloved sports writer Jim Klobuchar.

  6. Since it looks like Her Highness is going to run again, and the Democrats might even be crazy enough to nominate her again, you might take a look a SHATTERED by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parne, a devastating look at Hirrlary Clintons sheer incompetence in her 2016 campaign. Since it came out in 2017, you can probably find a copy at the local library; or a cheap used copy of the pb editin if there’s a used book store in your neighborhood. Better this than HRC’s own how-we-were-sabotaged-and-betrayed book, I think Am I the onloy one who pronounces HRC as if I were choking on a fish bone in my throat, I wonder?

      1. The limited number of TLAs means many have to do not only double and triple duty but even duodecuple duty or more.

    1. Hank, anything would be better than Shrillary’s book. I did a series of posts on it after it came out. OMG, the excuses and finger pointing and blaming of all but herself. I will take a look at Shattered. Thanks for the recommendation.

        1. Is knowledge of Democrat candidates like the Cthulhu mythos? The some of your skill percentage and maximum sanity equals 100, so the more you know, the less sane you can ever be.

              1. I thought he liked all the pain and suffering caused by socialism. Plus all the bodies that nobody missed.

  7. I’m all for as many Dem candidates screaming for attention as possible. As their philosophical mentor once said (quoting a classical poem, I believe):

    “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend”

    Their trying to be lefter than the next guy will only serve to display their batcrap craziness to normal Americans. And just like in 1956 when their mentor ran this program, they won’t be able to pretend to be normals, but will be recognized as the hard-core statists they are.

  8. I’d be interested in a study of candidates and people in the federal legislature who run afoul of criteria advanced to hand Trump.

      1. Actually, Amanda, in the case of Ms Harris, it isn’t a question at all. It’s what she did with Willie Brown.

  9. I swear I heard something about Trump implying that she, um, tried to sugar him up for political contributions. I think it was her. And then outrage that he’d imply such a thing. I’m thinking that he doesn’t have proof of it. I doubt he bugs his own offices or did back when. Too bad, there.

  10. Books that an informed citizenry should read before voting?



    Anything H. L. Mencken wrote that includes any of his coverage of Political Party conventions.

    THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM (too many authors to list)

    I don’t know of any pleasantly readable book on the folly of ‘alternative energy’, but ine should be on this list. Any ideas? Humor a plus.

      1. It’s been a long time since I read anything by ‘ol Hunter, other than HELLS ANGELS. What I remember of FEAR AND LOATHING ‘72 wasn’t any too coherent, and my interest in that particular election is minimal, since I conside bith the candidates to be revolting.

        1. The first bit is a bit sloppy. But once he gets going, it’s brilliant.
          Plus, it is one of the essential books for a lot of politicos and reporters, so a good reference in a “know your enemy” sense.
          After all, a lot of the current Democratic party heirachs got their start in 72.

    1. You should add Common Sense and The Federalist Papers to that list if you want informed citizenry.
      And probably the US Constitution.

      1. And probably the US Constitution.

        I dunno — it isn’t as if the politicians, their campaign staffers, civil service bureaucrats or the judges read it, except looking for possible loopholes, work-arounds and outright evasions. I swear, they study that document (if they read it at all) the same way a $1,000 an hour tax-lawyer pores over the tax code.

    2. ‘The Road to Serfdom’ Especially the simple picture version that was produced in 1944 (for the snowflakes, it uses simple words they can comprehend.)

    3. Thomas Sowell, pick any.

      10th grader has Vision of the Anointed as a school book this year. I make all mine read Black Rednecks and White Liberals (or is that the other way around?) as an inoculation against the expectations certain members of society have of kids with their ethnic background. Basic Economics is also useful.

      Sowell’s pretty easy reading.

        1. Thomas Sowell

          Walter J Williams

          P.J. O’Rourke

          Amity Schlaes: The Forgotten Man, Coolidge*, The Greedy Hand

          Burt Folsom: The Myth of the Robber Barons, Uncle Sam Can’t Count, New Deal or Raw Deal?

          Arthur Herman: Freedom’s Forge

    4. Is there anyone who can write a pleasantly readable book on the folly of ‘alternative energy’ that would dare to publish it under their own name?

    5. Additions to said list.

      THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS (do I even need to supply the author at this point?).

      THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO, Solzhenitsyn. For what *actually happened* when the socialists like out own misguided citizens get a firm grip on the reins of power. Not to be taken lightly.

      ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON, Hazlitt. Short, to the point. Economics and consequences.

      1984, Orwell. Not as instruction manual, mind.

      THE LAST CENTURION, Ringo. Social commentary, fine. Farming, worthwhile. Ringo is generally good for a reading palate cleanser.

      Perhaps others, but I can’t recall them at the moment. Good suggestions all, above, too.

      1. [cough]
        John M. Browning, American Gunmaker: A Illustrated Biography of the Man and His Guns
        John M. Browning: The American gunmaker, a complete comic strip story album
        John Browning: Man and Gun Maker: A Short Biography

          1. Per Wiki:

            Further reading
            Lucian Cary, “Big Trouble and A Big Idea,” True, March 1951.
            John Kobler, “The Story of ‘Carbine’ Williams,” Colliers’, 3 March 1951.
            H.T. Peoples, “The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met”, Reader’s Digest, March 1951.
            William B. Edwards, “The Impossible Shotgun of Carbine Williams”, Guns Magazine, Oct 1956.
            Ross E. Beard, Jr. Carbine: The Story of David Marshall Williams. Lexington, SC: Sandlapper Store, 1977.
            H. G. Jones, “David Marshall (Carbine) Williams.” Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. 6; p. 205-206. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina Press, 1996.
            Pat Reese, four-part series on the life of Williams, Fayetteville Observer-Times, Apr 20-23, 1997.
            Larry L. Ruth, “War Baby! The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbine”, Collector Grade Publications, 1992.
            Larry L. Ruth, “War Baby! Comes Home: The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbine, Volume II”, Collector Grade Publications, 1993.
            Bruce N. Canfield, “‘Carbine’ Williams: Myth & Reality.” The American Rifleman, February 2009.
            Larry L. Ruth, “War Baby! III; The U.S. Carbine into the 21st Century”, Collector Grade Publications, 2013.
            Bruce N. Canfield, “Backing Another Horse: The Winchester G30 Semiautomatic Rifle.” “The American Rifleman”, November 2013.

            As you likely notice, mostly magazines, some of which may now be available online. The one clear book biography has Amazon link embedded.

          2. His workshop is enshrined at the NC Museum of History:

            Monday–Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
            Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m.

            Closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day,
            Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

            5 East Edenton Street
            Raleigh, North Carolina 27601


            See the original workshop of David Marshall Williams, better known as Carbine. The self-taught gunsmith from North Carolina helped design the U.S. Carbine, Caliber .30, M1, which became a favorite weapon of American forces in World War II, the Korean War and the early years of Vietnam. Gen. Douglas MacArthur called the M1 carbine “one of the strongest contribution factors in our victory in the Pacific” during World War II.

            The one-room workshop includes nearly 3,000 artifacts. A myriad of tools, drawings, guns and other items remain a testament to Williams’s drive and ingenuity. The gunsmith contributed several key inventions that helped the United States military through the Great Depression and World War II. Before his death in 1975, Williams received 40 patents for his gun inventions.

            1. I have not been to the exhibit (a lack I must address — it’s scarcely over an hour’s drive!) but I would be quite surprised if copies of his biography were not available for purchase at the museum.

  11. Dick Armey’s _Armey’s Axioms_. Short, some of his essays are funny, others are poignant, most are good advice. I found “If you run over a skunk, don’t go back and hit it again” to be useful. And its three dollars on Kindle.

  12. a government that once looked out for working families is instead captive to the rich and powerful.

    Captive to the rich and powerful? Those would be the public employee unions, right? They’ve been extorting dues from the public then using those funds to buy politicians for quite a while now, all the time lowering the quality of service they promise to provide (not that they keep those meager promises, except to insulate their membership from any consequence of non-performance.)

    1. Note how many Democrats are bring as their guests to the State of the Union Address 1) an illegal immigrant or 2) a Federal worker who went unpaid during the recent shutdown. Tells you exactly where their priorities are: People who break the law to enter the country and government worker are both elevated above the citizens and legal immigrants./

      If the first objection to the government “shutdown” (which only impacted 25% of the Federal government), all that means is that we have way, way too much of it already,

      I would recommend the list of questions for Democratic Party candidates in this Federalist piece by David Harsanyi:


      The one about where the Democrats intend to get the other $30+ trillion needed for their “medicare for all” as a 70% top marginal rate would only at most raise only $700 billion of that $30+ trillion.

      1. Do you support continued subsudies of battery powered cars, and if so, what do you propose to do with worn out batteries?

        How much land area should be covered by wind turbines and solar panels?

    2. I didn’t know unions promised anything but to insulate their membership from consequences of non-performance these days. Weren’t they negotiating exemptions to the minimum-wage laws they support?

      1. Actually, most union contracts, particularly government worker ones, have escalator clauses that hike their rates every time the minimum goes up. So in states that are ramping up the minimum wage, like the People’s Republic of New Jersey, which is hiking it to $15.00 over the next 4 years (the Bill was signed today), union contracts will also go up beyond what they were already scheduled to do.

        Of course, this isn’t even as insane as the likely new state law that will create a right to PURE water. Not safe water, Not potable water. PURE water. Which means only distilled water, as all other water has impurities, no matter how safe that water is to drink and use, because it is not ‘pure”.

      2. The exemptions were for the worker-bees that the union employed. Gotta keep those costs down. After all, It’s For The Children | Fat cat bosses | Proletariat Good Of The People!

    3. “a government that once looked out for working families is instead captive to the rich and powerful.”
      Blovation like that makes my heads hurts. Government has ALWAYS defaulted to the control by the rich and powerful. Indeed, what the Democrat/Progresive elites are most outraged about is the degree to which the government CANNOT (yet) hand control of the whole of society over to THEIR rich and powerful.


  13. It would be nice if the campaign finance law enabled such Progressive Media Whores (PMWs) as Rolling Stoned to be charged for what are obvious in-kind contributions to the Democrat Party.

    Of course, that would topple the already teetering financial underpinnings of the PMWs and end journalism as we know it.

      1. I would think it sufficient to simply list such Media coverage as independent contributions in kind to candidates, along with any celebrity appearances.appeals on the candidates behalf. It would go far to obviate Liberal complaints about being outspent.

        What is the campaign value of a softball interview on a late-night comedian’s talk show? What is the value of a pop concert/rally thrown on the candidate’s behalf? To ignore such material contributions is to badly skew any meaningful understanding of campaign expenditures.

        If a Madonna concert normally would produce $100,000 in revenue, having her donate a concert to a Hillary rally seems as if it should have some value counted on the campaign books. It is less an argument for limiting such in-kind donations than for removing limits on cash contributions.

        Of course, as we’ve all too clearly seen, limits on cash contributions are mostly illusory, especially when campaigns disable safeguards against overseas contributions.

  14. Why don’t we start pulling together our own list of books by conservative or libertarian candidates that we think voters should read before the 2020 primaries?

    I am, frankly, more interested in the books the candidates should read than the ones they (should*) have written.

    *Lessee, JFK didn’t write “Profiles In Courage, Goldwater didn’t write Conscience of a Conservative … Bill and Hillary didn’t even write the checks to their ghostwriters …

    1. Doesn’t matter if they personally wrote them; they were published under their names, they own every word.

      Once it hits paper, it’s a little late for “but I really didn’t intend it that way…”

      1. Once it hits paper, it’s a little late for “but I really didn’t intend it that way…”
        Just ask the current Governor of Virginia.

  15. :Priced at basically $17, this is Kerry’s story of his `remarkable life.` Gag me.

    The only John Kerry book I am interested in reading is his How to Marry Rich Widder Women for Fun & Profit. I’m waiting for the paperback edition. The only honest remarks to be made about his life are probably not ever going to see print now that they’ve slandered the Swiftboat Veterans.

    1. A short story of “How to shoot a person in the back when they hold an RPG (or whatever it was) for your single, useful, military achievement” would be okay, I guess

  16. “…her name is pronounced comma-la.” And here I am, having thought it was pronouced “camel-la”.

    I suggest you finish off this book with a tommygun with a 50-cartridge drum. (You’ll feel ever so much better. Don’t forget the earplugs and muffs.)

    1. If you say “camel” there’s a troll who thinks his name is being called.

      Luckily he’s banned.

      I apologize if any actual camels were offended. >:D

  17. Just FYI the Harris book weights in as a 60Mb epub file.
    It has a host of embedded photos.

    1. ACK! Not that it surprises me. She does so like having pictures of herself with other rich and famous/movers and shakers out there for the rest of us to ooh and aaah at.

  18. Ugh. Remember when late husband went to monthly events in DC with the movers & shakers, all of whom would rush up, photographer would take picture, M&S went on to someone else. Hubby always declined when asked if he wanted a copy, but his boss got copies and when husband retired, he was given all these, ah, famous jerks, ah, best friends people with him in photos. He shredded all the pictures. Good memories.

  19. I would love to see a list of GOOD conservative and libertarian books, both to read and to recommend to others (particularly young people, who have been desperately short-changed by their public school educations). I really appreciate that you’ve tackled so much of the Left’s dreck — and I worry for your sanity and your liver! — but it’s like watching a slo-mo train wreck. We need some good news for a change!

  20. Hell, you know it’s going to be bad when Rolling Stone lists 15—FIFTEEN—campaign books “you need to know” for the upcoming election.

    There are 15 campaign books about my local county elections this year?


    Oh, you mean next year’s Democrat primaries. I can’t vote in them.

    Let me rephrase, I won’t vote in them as I’m afraid the neighbors might see me and think I’m a Democrat. At most there is one I’ll need to read, the winner’s book. Even then, I doubt reading it would do much but waste time unless some really, really out of left field candidate wins (or, if hell freezes over, some really, really out of center field candidate wins).

    I really, really, really am not ready to pretend to care about the 2020 presidential election.

  21. Something else I would love to see — but it will probably never happen — is a Civics/U.S. Government/U.S. History class *written accurately* that would be mandatory for everyone newly elected or appointed to any public office. It could also be a mandatory class in all public high schools. I can think of a few other subjects that need to be written into courses, like a real-world view of economics, the scientific truth about transgenderism, and ditto about unborn babies, and a few other things….The only way to really turn this country around is to change our education system, which — at this point in time — is turning out brainwashed useful idiots en mass. We may have already passed the point of no return, though….

    1. One item on my “To Write After I Retire” list is a History of the United States, 1945-2020. Simple, readable, and truthful.

  22. Milton and Rose Friedman’s _Free to Choose_ is another possibility, but it is long and rather dense, the way really good bread is dense and chewy.

    1. Agreed. It’s another one that’s longer than it looks, because it makes you want to stop reading and think about it for a while… And then dive right back in.

      1. I’m currently making my way through Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb by Richard Rhodes, and find myself having to stop and put it away every few pages. Not because it’s dense of hard to read, it’s very clear, concise, and straightforward. It’s because I get angry at the events during WWII and afterward. I grew up during the cold war (less than a month old when Sputnik went up) and to be confronted with painful detail about Soviet actions and failures in the West to deal with them…. I have to go cool off before reading more..

  23. Amanda, please preserve your liver. Anything from these Leftist twits is going to be 100% propaganda and lies.

  24. Books to read:

    1. On War, by Karl von Clausewitz. Get the Howard/Paret translation, the earlier ones are trash. Read Books 1, 2, and 8, plus their commentaries. You can skip the rest unless you want to be a Napoleonic staff officer. Book 1, in particular, is ESSENTIAL to understanding national security.

    2. Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, by Sir Julian Corbett. This is THE gold standard of naval strategic writing (yes, it’s better than Mahan). Especially with things heating up with China, this book is essential for understanding strategy. And it’s available for free at Gutenberg.

    1. I would add Sun Tzu’s Art of War to this, as it is also essential reading when it comes to national security (and many other things).

      1. Sun Tzu is useful, but I consider Clausewitz to present the information that the average citizen will find useful. In particular, the concepts of limited and total war (which relate to objectives, NOT level of effort) are essential to understanding national security strategy issues.

    2. 3. How to Stop a War, by James Dunnigan. This one is a little dated (it came out in the late 1980s), but it goes into detail into how wars start, how they end…and some predictions on future wars that proved extremely prescient.

  25. Amanda, I suggest the Necronomicon. It is less likely to drive you crazy than what the Democrats are writing and saying and is far more honest about its intentions. Although to be fair I am not sure that anything in the Necronomicon is as demonstrably horrible as what the communism now openly and lovingly embraced by the Democrats has done.

    1. Yes.

      In particular, there is no need to get your hands on this book. You have given us enough of a sample to judge it justly.

  26. yeah, i knew most of those candidates, but several of them have the same chance as a kite in a hurricane and are just there for color. in some examples, literally.

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