Conventional wisdom holds that legislators who bring “pork”—federal funds for local projects—back home to their districts are better able to fend off potential challengers. For more than four decades, however, the empirical support for this belief has been mixed. Some studies have found that securing federal spending has no electoral effects at best or can even cost incumbent legislators votes.In Pork Barrel Politics, Andrew H. Sidman offers a systematic explanation for how political polarization affects the electoral influence of district-level federal spending. He argues that the average voter sees the pork barrel as an aspect of the larger issue of government spending, determined by partisanship and ideology. It is only when the political world becomes more divided over everything else that the average voter pays attention to pork, linking it to their general preferences over government spending. Using data on pork barrel spending from 1986 through 2012 and public works spending since 1876 along with analyses of district-level outcomes and incumbent success, Sidman demonstrates the rising power of polarization in United States elections. During periods of low polarization, pork barrel spending has little impact, but when polarization is high, it affects primary competition, campaign spending, and vote share in general elections. Pork Barrel Politics is an empirically rich account of the surprising repercussions of bringing pork home, with important consequences in our polarized era.
Pope Leo XIII (2 March 1810 – 20 July 1903), born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, reigned from 20 February 1878 to his death in 1903. He was the oldest pope (reigning until the age of 93), and had the third longest pontificate.He is well known for his intellectualism, the development of social teachings with his famous papal encyclical Rerum Novarum and his attempts to define the position of the Catholic Church with regard to modern thinking. He issued a record eleven encyclicals on the rosary earning the moniker the "Rosary Pope". This book includes thirty of his most well know encyclicals and letters. They cover a wide range of subjects, including, Christian marriage, socialism, communism, freemasonry, Anglican orders, and human liberty. Some of the encyclicals included in this volume are: Inscrutabili, Rerum Novarum, Quod Apostolici Muneris, Humanum Genus, Arcanum Divinae, Immortale Dei and many others. (Summary adapted from Wikipedia and by Maria Therese)
Responsible. Independent. Hard-working. These are qualities that used to define Americans. But now we're a nation of whiners, blamers, and excuse-makers. So says Michael Graham-radio talk show host, former GOP campaign consultant, and journalist-in his new book.That's No Angry Mob, That's My Mom taps into the frustration and anxiety felt by hundreds of thousands of taxpayers at tea parties nationwide. Frustration that the government is taking over our lives; punishing success while rewarding failure; and fostering a society of Americans who don't take responsibility for their actions and then expect the government-and their fellow citizens-to pick up the bill.Graham, known for his searing wit and controversial comments, also explains who the tea party "activists" really are: ordinary, everyday citizens pushed into action by the threat of higher taxes and increased government intrusion.Tackling everything from the economy and education to health care and the housing market, Graham argues that it's up to us to take control back from the government bureaucrats and to restore the home-spun values of hard work, fair play, and individual responsibility. That's No Angry Mob, That's My Mom shows us how.
“Almond draws on everything from The Grapes of Wrath to the voting practices of his babysitter to dismantle the false narratives about American democracy.” —Cheryl Strayed, international-bestselling author of Wild Like a lot of Americans, Steve Almond spent the weeks after the 2016 election lying awake, in a state of dread and bewilderment. The problem wasn’t just the election, but the fact that nobody could explain, in any sort of coherent way, why America had elected a cruel, corrupt, and incompetent man to the Presidency. Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country is Almond’s effort to make sense of our historical moment, to connect certain dots that go unconnected amid the deluge of hot takes and think pieces. Almond looks to literary voices—from Melville to Orwell, from Bradbury to Baldwin—to help explain the roots of our moral erosion as a people. The book argues that Trumpism is a bad outcome arising directly from the bad stories we tell ourselves. To understand how we got here, we have to confront our cultural delusions: our obsession with entertainment, sports, and political parody, the degeneration of our free press into a for-profit industry, our enduring pathologies of race, class, immigration, and tribalism. Bad Stories is a lamentation aimed at providing clarity. It’s the book you can pass along to an anguished fellow traveler with the promise, This will help you understand what the hell happened to our country. “Almond holds up literature as a guide through America’s age-old moral dilemmas and finds hope for his country in family, forgiveness, and political resistance.” —Booklist
“Explor[es] the underlying history and psychology of public discourse . . . should be required reading for politicians and public advocates.” —Real Change The most pressing problem we face today is not climate change. It is pollution in the public square, where a toxic smog of adversarial rhetoric, propaganda, and polarization stifles discussion and debate, creating resistance to change and thwarting our ability to solve our collective problems. In this second edition of I’m Right and You’re an Idiot, James Hoggan grapples with this critical issue, through interviews with outstanding thinkers and drawing on wisdom from highly regarded public figures. Featuring a new, radically revised prologue, afterword, and a new chapter addressing the changes in the public discourse since the 2016 US election, his comprehensive analysis explores: · How political will is manipulated · How tribalism shuts down open-minded thinking, undermines trust, and helps misinformation thrive · Why facts alone fail and how language is manipulated and dissent silenced · The importance of dialogue, empathy, and pluralistic narrative reframing arguments to create compelling narratives and spur action. Our species’ greatest survival strategy has always been foresight and the ability to leverage intelligence to overcome adversity. For too long now this capacity has been threatened by the sorry state of public discourse. Focusing on proven techniques to foster more powerful and effective communication, I’m Right and You’re an Idiot will appeal to readers looking for deep insights and practical advice in these troubling times. “This is a must-read for anyone tired of the bullying, the propagandizing, the screaming, and the bullsh*t.” —Dr. Samantha Nutt, author of Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies and Aid
On the world maps common in America, the Western Hemisphere lies front and center, while the Indian Ocean region all but disappears. This convention reveals the geopolitical focus of the now-departed twentieth century, but in the twenty-first century that focus will fundamentally change.In this pivotal examination of the countries known as "Monsoon Asia"-which include India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Burma, Oman, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Tanzania-bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan shows how crucial this dynamic area has become to American power. It is here that the fight for democracy, energy independence, and religious freedom will be lost or won, and it is here that American foreign policy must concentrate if the United States is to remain relevant in an ever-changing world. From the Horn of Africa to the Indonesian archipelago and beyond, Kaplan exposes the effects of population growth, climate change, and extremist politics on this unstable region, demonstrating why Americans can no longer afford to ignore this important area of the world.
An impassioned defense of the freedom of speech, from Stéphane Charbonnier, a journalist murdered for his convictionsOn January 7, 2015, two gunmen stormed the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. They took the lives of twelve men and women, but they called for one man by name: "Charb." Known by his pen name, Stéphane Charbonnier was editor in chief of Charlie Hebdo, an outspoken critic of religious fundamentalism, and a renowned political cartoonist in his own right. In the past, he had received death threats and had even earned a place on Al Qaeda's "Most Wanted List." On January 7 it seemed that Charb's enemies had finally succeeded in silencing him. But in a twist of fate befitting Charb's defiant nature, it was soon revealed that he had finished a book just two days before his murder on the very issues at the heart of the attacks: blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the necessary courage of satirists. Here, published for the first time in English, is Charb's final work. A searing criticism of hypocrisy and racism, and a rousing, eloquent defense of free speech, Open Letter shows Charb's words to be as powerful and provocative as his art. This is an essential book about race, religion, the voice of ethnic minorities and majorities in a pluralistic society, and above all, the right to free expression and the surprising challenges being leveled at it in our fraught and dangerous time.
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