The Corruption Before Trump

We are where we are in American politics, in part, because all these big-picture projects succeeded in enriching private interests … but failed to achieve their stated public goals. The “shock therapy” delivered to Russia midwifed Putinism instead of a prosperous American ally. The war in Iraq ushered in a regional conflict that’s still burning to this day. Chimerica worked out better for the Chinese than for many working-class Americans, and far better for the Chinese Politburo than for the cause of liberty. And the self-justifying doctrine of the present elite — that you can serve the common good while in office and do well for yourself afterward — became far more implausible when the elite’s projects kept failing even as the officeholders kept on cashing in.

Ross Douthat

Before You Wake: Life Lessons from a Father to His Children by Erick Erickson

I doubt a lot of people who disagree with Erick’s politics have or will read this book.  Which is a shame because we could do with a world where more people got to know each other who disagree.  And this book will help you understand Erick Erickson the person rather than Erick the talking head or Erick the radio host.  It won’t change your mind but it might change how you see pundits and those in the news. 

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Keith Urbahn on conservatives and publishing

This week’s edition of Coffee and Markets, has Pejman Yousefzadeh and I talking with Keith Urbahn, former chief of staff to Donald Rumsfeld, to discuss his new PR firm Javelin, which is involved in book publishing from a right-of-center perspective. We discussed the relationship between traditional publishers and the conservative movement, the future of publishing and… Continue reading

Jay Cost on the Politics of Patronage

On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Pejman Yousefzadeh and I are joined by Jay Cost to discuss his book Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and now Threatens the American Republic.  We discussed the history of the Democratic party’s patronage system, the state of modern Democratic politics and the implications… Continue reading