Friday, October 19, 2007

Multitude of News

This week has been one of fairly rapid developments. With a very busy week behind me, I only now have time to post here. As there is still a great deal going on, it seems wise to hold off on a serious post tonight.

This does not mean that I am prepared to offer an "unserious" post. But it does mean that I want to be thoughtful in what I do write. So with the readers' permission I will simply say for now that I am watching the Mukasey nomination, the Presidential race -- and I am still interested in having the truth about the last two elections come out. (See early posts on this web log.)

Best wishes,

The Musical Patriot

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mending the Government

Earlier this evening I finished reading John W. Dean's new book Broken Government. Of all the recent books recently released by former government officials this book and Al Gore's Assault on Reason are two of the most important. Over the coming days I plan to write more about Broken Government. I will do this in the form of vignettes. A fuller review must await another time, and possibly another place.

John Dean advocates a surprisingly simple solution for the broken government we have experienced for the last several years: cease electing Republicans. Dean states that the Republican Party of today is a party he no longer recognizes. In four chapters and two appendices, Mr. Dean examines the functioning of all three branches of the federal government under Republican rule. He finds said government not only wanting but, in many respects, dangerous. He finds the current form of far-right Republicanism with its anti-government mindset to be incapable of running the government. He cites particularly the failure of the technique of government shut-downs.

In this book John Dean has performed a tremendous public service. Both in laying out the recent history of the federal government and a proposed solution, he has provided a reason for hope amidst despair, a plan amidst chaos. For this he is to be commended and congratulated.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Broken Government; Fixed?

I am now in the final chapter of John W. Dean's book Broken Government. In finishing the previous chapter on the judiciary it became clear how close our judicial branch is to a radical transformation at the hands of judicial fundamentalists (to be distinguished from religious fundamentalists). Mr. Dean reports on the gradual but steady slide toward authoritarianism under the Rhenquist and Roberts courts.

By way of a fix, there are only hints so far. One point which made an impression on me was that the courts depend on the willing obedience of the people. Aside from this the courts have no enforcement ability of their own. In a future post I hope to tell more about this grave danger of an increasingly politicized judiciary.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Broken Government

After the next chapter I will be finished with the main body of John W. Dean's new book Broken Government. How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches. This is a most valuable book, coming as it does from an insider of the Nixon administration, many of whose actions are described in some detail. Although the title is a bit hyperbolic, the essential truth behind it is amply set forth.



I will have a more complete review later. However, this book is well worth reading, and may be essential reading for these times. I am going to be especially interested in Dean's suggestions for repairing the damage done primarily by Republicans over the last thirty-five and more years.

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