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Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day

– tekijä: Joe Scarborough

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
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Here's the Real Deal! The same Washington politicians who took control of Congress by promising to balance the federal budget are now bankrupting America by launching the biggest spending spree in the history of the United States. With big-spending Democrats at their side, President George Bush and his "conservative" Republican Congress have controlled the government's checkbook while the national debt has skyrocketed past seven trillion dollars. That's right, $7,000,000,000,000. How has the party of Reagan become the party of big- government spending? Now former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough delivers a scathing indictment of Republicans and Democrats alike in the same informed, hard-hitting, and entertaining style fans of Scarborough Country have come to admire. Having had a ringside seat during his four terms in the House of Representatives, Scarborough gives the inside scoop on how Washington really works and on the spending orgy the Republicans have fueled the last ten years. The story begins with Newt Gingrich's Contract with America and the Republicans promising to balance the budget and reform Washington. It culminates with a Republican president continually rubber-stamping pork-filled appropriations bills that squander taxpayer dollars. That is, unless you think it's necessary to spend millions of dollars on research into "alternative salmon products" in Alaska, or the study of crickets in Utah, or of sea turtles in Hawaii. Sadly, these instances merely hint at the gross spending by Congress.… (lisätietoja)

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The main point of the first book written by former Republican congressman and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is contained in the subtitle of "Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day": "The Real Deal on How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Other Washington Barbarians are Bankrupting America." Reading the book in 2009 during a major economic recession, Scarborough's book doesn't seem too provocative, until you realize that it was published in 2004, long before the national hand-wringing over the escalating size of the federal government.

Scarborough, a fiscal conservative, laments the huge increases in spending seen during the first term of George W. Bush, especially given that they occurred when Republicans -- the supposed party of spending constraint -- had majorities in both houses of Congress and occupied the White House. Using his first-hand knowledge of the way things work -- or in his emphatic view, do not work -- in Washington. He explains the strength of paid interests influencing the system through extensive lobbying, fund-raising, campaign contributions, and careful use of the media.

At the root of this book, which seems refreshingly candid as opposed to the writing of many other politicians when they author books for the "my plan for America" publishing cottage industry, is Scarborough's conflicted feelings toward the government. Obviously, he was raised to believe that the government could accomplish certain things, and he is fascinated by politics itself.

But Scarborough is also very disillusioned and frustrated. Having been elected during the Republican Revolution of 1994, he tells stories of the heady days when the "Class of 94" insisted on conservative values, especially the passage of welfare reform in 1996. But then others, including the Republican leadership, started turning away from the reforms promised in 1994; Scarborough seems almost personally betrayed at times when writing about Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey. And the shift away from 1994 has continued since then, even intensifying during George W. Bush's administration.

Despite these underlying feelings, Scarborough never attacks people personally in his writing, which is straightforward and often funny. In fact, it seems that Scarborough writes as he speaks on television, in clear language punctuated by moments of intense feeling subsiding into fits of comic observations. And while the book is a little dated, it is still timely given its economic focus. And it is, in its way, a memoir of the rise and fall of the 1994 Republican Revolution. ( )
  ALincolnNut | Feb 15, 2010 |
Oh, Joe Scarborough, how I used to despise you. "Rome Wasn't Burnt In A Day" finds Scarborough at a midpoint during his transition from strident right wing loony to reforming rightwinger who wants to get with the program but is afraid to put his toe in the pool. Ostensibly about how power elites in both political parties conspire to keep reformers in congress from affecting any meaningful political change, Scarborough still manages to get in a fair amount of digs (both deserved and otherwise) at Democrats. While I agree with his overall thesis, his departures into "compassionate" conservative fantasyland (healthcare reform=socialism, Gingrich's welfare reforms=a step forward, grants to environmental agencies=pork) left me cold, especially when he took an obviously hypocritical position on such "robbing" of taxpayer dollars whenever his own Congressional district was concerned. Still, I believe his frustration with and disgust for entrenched political cabals and massive government spending (he is surprisingly willing to point the finger at the Bush administration) is genuine enough. "Rome" was obviously written rather quickly and suffers from a number of typographic, grammatic, and definitional errors as a result, but it was a nice change from the obnoxious screeds of other popular conservative figures.
1 ääni Trismegistus | Dec 23, 2007 |
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Here's the Real Deal! The same Washington politicians who took control of Congress by promising to balance the federal budget are now bankrupting America by launching the biggest spending spree in the history of the United States. With big-spending Democrats at their side, President George Bush and his "conservative" Republican Congress have controlled the government's checkbook while the national debt has skyrocketed past seven trillion dollars. That's right, $7,000,000,000,000. How has the party of Reagan become the party of big- government spending? Now former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough delivers a scathing indictment of Republicans and Democrats alike in the same informed, hard-hitting, and entertaining style fans of Scarborough Country have come to admire. Having had a ringside seat during his four terms in the House of Representatives, Scarborough gives the inside scoop on how Washington really works and on the spending orgy the Republicans have fueled the last ten years. The story begins with Newt Gingrich's Contract with America and the Republicans promising to balance the budget and reform Washington. It culminates with a Republican president continually rubber-stamping pork-filled appropriations bills that squander taxpayer dollars. That is, unless you think it's necessary to spend millions of dollars on research into "alternative salmon products" in Alaska, or the study of crickets in Utah, or of sea turtles in Hawaii. Sadly, these instances merely hint at the gross spending by Congress.

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