Review: The Political Junkie Handbook (The Definitive Reference Book on Politics)

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Solid Four on Content, August 21, 2008

Michael Crane

The author is brilliant, and the cover quotes are phenomenal. Instead of my favorite quote for Thomas Jefferson (“A Nation’s best defense is an educated citizenry”) the author uses one new to me, but I love it, “If all Americans know all the facts, they will never make a mistake.” Join that with Abe Lincoln’s “cannot fool all of the people all of the time” and you have the Republic at its finest.

Reminding me of Dick “Vice” Cheney, the cover features also John Huxley’s quote, “Sooner or later, false thinking brings wrong conduct.”

I list the table of contents for this marvelous (and very well-priced) huge (644 8.5 x 11 inch pages) volume. The publisher should have done this.

There are some troubling variations in the melange of what is covered for any given issue–some have Supreme Court ruling (e.g. abortionj others have pages of statistics. Standardization would have helped. Here are the topics covered, and I have not seen a finer single point of reference anywhere:

Aboriton
Affirmative Action
AIDS
Business
Communism
Courts
Supreme Court
Crime and Punishment
Death Penalty
Defense and the Military
Demographics
Disabilities
Drug and Alcohol Use
Economy
Educaiton
Elections
Energy
Environment
Family
Farm Policy
Federal Government
Feminism
Foreign Policy
Gay Rights
Global Warming
Gun Control
Health Care
The Homeless
Immigration
Labor
Media
Muslims
Political Correctness
Poverty
Race Relations
Regulation
Reparations
Social Security
Taxes
Terrorism and Home Security
Tort Reform
Trade
Welfare
Miscellaneous (from Girls of Clinton–guess which Clinton–to ….

Easily one of the most exciting parts of the above are the quotes with footnotes. This is a *killer* political research book.

Following the majority of the book are lists that are alone worth the price of the book and I am using them:

Senate Scorecard (Electoral Reform does not appear in this book)
Congress
100 Differences
Why Conservatives Hated the Clinton Administration
Why Liberals Hated the Reagan Administration
Celebrities (including quotes and contributions where available)
Economists
Books
Gore Misstatements (if McCain is a total idiot, Lieberman may be the first person in history to cost BOTH parties a presidential win)
Russell Kirk’s Principles
Political Leaders of the Past
Political Talk Shows (with telephone numbers)
Lobbying and the Media
Polling Companies
Political Magazines
Political Groups
People
Federal Bureaucracy
Glossary

The Index is cursory, another reason I left it at four despite the deep respect I have for this endeavor.

Here is the book I would like to commission from him, covering at least five parties (Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Reforms, and of course Independents):

THREATS
Poverty
Infectious Disease
Environmental Degradation
Inter-State Conflict (including votes on defense budget)
Civil War
Genocide (including votes against intervention in Rwanda)
Other Atrocities (including votes against victim rights)
Proliferation (including votes for US nuclear arms industry)
Terrorism
Transnational Crime (should include white collar corporate crime)

POLICIES
Agriculture
Diplomacy (including votes against beefing it up)
Economy
Education
Energy
Family
Health
Immigration
Justice
Security (including water and food security, job security, etc)
Society (including subversion of our Christian culture)
Water

CHALLENGERS (including Senate and White House ignorance and neglect):
Brazil
China
India
Indonesia
Iran
Russia
Venezuela
Wild Cards (e.g. Congo, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey)

I am an admirer of Paul Ray and a few others, I link to some below, but I am finding in this author real promise for enlightening all citizens, online, and exposing the platitudes being offered by Obama and McCain for what they are: empty promises with no foundation in a balanced budget or a serious (credible) story on where the revenue will come from. I for one believe that Gordon Norquist should demand a pledge to eliminate all individual income taxes and institute the Tobin Tax on all Federal Reserve transactions.

Put online, with an EarthGame(TM Medard Gabel), and all budgets online in advance of votes and without permitting secret earmarks, and we get our Republic back. Superb effort, it can be improved upon, and this needs to be done NOW.

See also:
The Nine Nations of North America
The Clustering of America
The Magic of Dialogue: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders
The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
The Bush Tragedy
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People

Jul 3

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