Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

108 Stitches

The second busiest work season is over, the imminent bankruptcy of the New Jersey retirement system is being ignored, and my countywatchers blogs on democratic committee members being primarily government employees are writing themselves so it’s time for some light reading.

Listening to Richard Neer this morning on my trip to Kushner for old-man basketball I was reminded of his book on rock radio that a websearch revealed to be available at Scotch Plains library. In picking it up I noticed Ron Darling’s book where he paints Lenny Dykstra as a racist (though he doesn’t come off much better in his own book) was also there. This is the type of linkage that Darling seemed to be going for with his stories of the darndest characters he came across in his baseball career.  Excerpts follow.

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Predictable Surprises

In New Jersey Senate Democrats are breaking out the iMovie software (results below) to sell their version of VIP* while Chapter 20 of Sylvester J. Scheiber’s 2012 book The Predictable Surprise was on Public Pensions: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and provided these takeaways:

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Halfway through sampling Jane Russell’s autobiography (two foiled rape attempts so far – one by Howard Hughes) and, as fate would have it, Chris Chritie’s tell-what-I-want-you-to-believe book became available at a library so here goes with excerpts from Part Three: Tough Guv and then I’ll decide whether it’s Romney ice cream stories or back to Jane.

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PBGC Plans, a Book, & a Clip

Slow time of year at work so here is some stuff I have been doing.

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The Fifth Risk

Michael Lewis’ new book is a love letter to three federal government departments (Energy, Agriculture, and Commerce) that he researched thorough interviews with high-level Obama appointees. The upshot is that these government employees do vital work which is being threatened by the Trump people brought in through a sloppy transition process. Excerpts follow (including some insight into how the the solar panel scam got kick-started):

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The Battle for Paradise

Now that 5500 season is over for another year it is time to turn to, as P.G. Wodehouse put it, ‘improving books’.

Future blogs will be on Alive at the Village Vanguard, Buyer Beware, and whatever the Summit Library got in but first some agitprop on the situation in Puerto Rico – excerpts then my comment.

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Taxes In Fear

Among the tales of West Wing backbiting and foreign policy bunglings in Bob Woodward’s Fear is one chapter (35) on the “only major legislation passed [in] his first year”: tax reform. Another round is coming that, as it relates to retirement plans, seems sensible but the backstory of those 2017 reforms reflects the chaos of Trump’s first year.

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