Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

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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Christie In Fear

The first five chapters of Bob Woodward’s Fear take us from Trump’s presidential aspirations to his election with Steve Bannon seemingly dictating most of the journey. This is the only section of the book where Chris Christie is mentioned, usually in conjunction with an expletive. Excerpts follow:

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Everything Trump Touches Dies & A Bronx Tale Message

Offering scores of variations on the ‘Trump Is An Idiot” theme Rick Wilson in his book (from which I excerpted the Governor Shinebox bit) tries to be an amalgam of humorist, provocateur, and sage. Sometimes he hits*.

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Faux Populist Christie

With practically every new political book out there being on Trump  our Governor Shinebox, as one of the books I am reading dubbed him, keeps getting more minutes on the public stage, with another book even mentioning pensions.

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