This Fight is Our Fight by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Book Review by George Kennedy

This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class
Book Review by George Kennedy

This Fight Is Our Fight is a call for America’s middle class to man the ramparts against those who have spent the past almost four decades undermining working families.

Warren’s book is rife with facts and statistics, and real life examples, the cumulative weight of which either entrenches us firmly in our comfort zones regarding the current state of the American economy, or motivates us to resist massively and consistently against the Trump administration’s determination to roll back any and ALL regulations, undo programs that provide essential support to the middle class (Medicare, Medicaid, policies that support public education), take the legs out from under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), cut corporate taxes while eliminating corporate CEO accountability when their corporations commit crimes, and, repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, all while empowered by a compliant, supine Republican-controlled Congress.

With Republicans in control of both the White House and Congress (and now the Supreme Court), their documented antipathy toward this country’s middle class – unions in particular – has become manifest – doctrinal. To refresh our memories on this point, Warren wrote on page 242, “For decades, Republicans had been fighting unions on virtually every issue that touched working people – the minimum wage, paid family leave, fair scheduling laws, access to affordable health care, Medicaid, Medicare….also assaulted unions head-on by trying to shut down the National Labor Relations Board.” “When the Republicans attack unions, they attack everyone who works for wages”, noted Warren.

Senator Warren, a fierce champion of America’s middle class, brilliantly reminds us that only massive resistance to this early 21st century class of Republican leadership stands between the demise of the middle class and a future that offers hope and opportunity and equal justice with rapacious corporations and their wealthy patrons. The rationale for massive resistance, according to Warren is clear: “From 1980 to 2015, 90 percent of America – everyone outside the top 10 percent – got almost nothing. Not even 1 percent… since 1980, nearly 100 percent of the growth in market income – the income individuals earn before taxes and government transfers like Social Security – has been gobbled up by the top 10 percent. Or, to put it more simply, the 10 percent got just about everything and the 90 percent got essentially nothing.”

It is time to choose, Warren reflected. Our future is in our hands because, as she notes on page 148 regarding the GOP’s belief in trickle-down economics, “If we don’t put a stop to this nonsense, trickle-down economics will eventually wipe out our middle class…it is time to bury the idea that tax cuts for the rich will pave the way to a bright future for everyone.”

We should not delude ourselves. There is a war going on for the “soul’ of this country and, at the moment, the oligarchs have the upper hand. “The playing field isn’t level and the people at the top often don’t notice that” Warren wrote.

My read of this timely book is that we, the people, need to become enraged enough to struggle mightily for the premise of democracy (one person, one vote), to make this economy work for everyone, and against those who for almost four decades have demanded almost 100 percent of the new income produced in this country. Warren reminds us that this is a fight we can win – if we “Summon the courage. Make the commitment. Get in the fight.”

This Fight Is Our Fight is a must-read for every American today concerned about the impact of the Trump administration on our society, the health of the middle class, and any future we might hope to bequeath to succeeding generations.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is the senior senator from Massachusetts. A former Harvard Law School professor, she is the author of ten previous books including a Fighting Chance, a national bestseller that received widespread critical acclaim.

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Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power
Book Review by George Kennedy

Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power Hardcover – August 23, 2016 by Michael Kranish (Author), Marc Fisher (Author)

TRUMP REVEALED – An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money and Power

Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher, both award winning authors, offer authoritative insights into the 70-year old Trump who says he is qualified to be “King.” I suppose an alternate title could be “Trump Unclothed.”

Before Trump threw his hat in the ring to compete for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Trump was a loud, brash, blowhard about whom most of us knew very little – at least not in any coherent sense. Trump had not been a candidate for public office on any level (local, state, or national), therefore the customary paper trail (policy proposals, votes cast, public statements, etc.) was noticeably absent. It is true Trump had offered opinions on Reagan Administration policies as well as those of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama while teasing the media regarding his own interest in running for the presidency. The fact is, despite decades of scrutiny, we knew not enough about him.

Trump Revealed is meticulously researched, well documented (59 pages containing 337 notes and source citations), and thus a provocative and an illuminating read. The Trump revealed, note the authors, “believed in the unlimited, unequaled power of the individual to achieve anything…that his fame and success would catapult him to a level of power that he deserved because he had made so much money… that he would make America great again.”

Trump, a character carefully constructed over a lifetime of questionable business practices, an alliance with power broker Roy Cohn, alleged dealings with organized crime, numerous lawsuits (over three thousand) and bankruptcies, and failed relationships, strides – at least temporarily – as a colossus over a Republican Party elite that is as contemptuous of him as they are fearful. Trump returns their contempt.

Perhaps one of the more notable insights into Trump’s character is contained in this quote: “At every stage of his career, Trump tried to punish those who questioned the image he wanted the world to see. Legal threats were as much a part of Trump’s business tactics as brash talk, publicity stunts, and the renegotiation of deals. ‘I’ll sue’ became the watchwords of his business, just as ‘You’re fired’ became the mantra of his television image.”

The timing of “Trump Revealed” is propitious because we know so little about the character who could take the oath of office as this nation’s 46th president on January 20, 2017.

A Trump presidency could be unique in the annals of the American presidency simply because he appears to be unanchored to any identifiable ideological foundation. He contradicts himself frequently, craves unbridled adulation, and tells us that since “nobody knows the system better than me”, he is singularly qualified to solve this nation’s most intractable economic and social problems.

Just 10-weeks shy of the November Elections, the question remains, who is the real Donald Trump? A blue-collar billionaire; the inveterate self-promoter; the “humorless, cold and selfish businessman who refused to pay his bills if he could see the slightest gain for himself.” There are other characterizations to be sure.

For all of his larger-than-life bravado, it is questionable that Trump has the skills, the intellectual heft, and the temperament to unite a deeply polarized and frightened nation. Each of us will have a choice to make this November and I do encourage those with doubts to read “Trump Revealed”. The authors take no philosophical position on Trump; just the facts. You decide.

Michael Kranish is an investigative political reporter for the Washington Post. He is the coauthor of John F. Kerry and The Real Romney, both Boston Globe biographies of the presidential candidates, and the author of Flight from Monticello: Thomas Jefferson at War. He was the recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists Award for Washington Correspondence in 2016.

Marc Fisher is a senior editor at the Washington Post, where he has been the enterprise editor, local columnist, and Berlin bureau chief, among other positions over thirty years at the paper. He is the author of Something in the Air, a history of radio, and After the Wall, an account of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. Fisher wrote several of the Washington Post articles that won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2016 and the Pulitzer for Public Service in 2014.

 

 

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Ta – Nehisi Coates: “Between The World And Me”

August 16, 2016




Ta – Nehisi Coates: “Between The World And Me” Book Review by George Kennedy A powerful and insightful read for the 21st century family interested in and concerned about the increasing racial polarization in America, too frequently characterized by escalating levels of confrontation between African-Americans and law enforcement. Ta-Nehisi Coates, in a penetrating letter to […]

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A Fighting Chance

May 3, 2014




A Fighting Chance by Senator Elizabeth Warren is one of those rare books by a contemporary elected official every American of whatever political persuasion should read because it speaks to the power of what an individual can accomplish when the cause is justice and fair play. Always the champion of doing the right thing for […]

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“DRIFT – The Unmooring Of American Military Power” by Rachel Maddow

April 3, 2012




Maddow’s well-researched and illuminating analysis of our increasingly costly and bloated national security system is timely as we end our military occupation of Iraq and prepare to withdraw American combatants from Afghanistan in 2014. Maddow reminds us that since the end of World War 22, the United States has invested eight-trillion-dollars in its national security […]

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Too Big To Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin

February 2, 2012




    The inside story of how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system – and themselves. “A riveting, compelling read; the closest the average reader will come to understanding the human failures that led to the greatest economic event since the Great Depression. Could the collapse have been avoided? Perhaps. Super […]

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The ClintonTapes Wrestling History With The President byTaylor Branch

February 2, 2012




This is the untold, raw story of the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton: certainly one of the most controversial, Post-War American chief executives. The author invites the reader to draw their own conclusions on the monologues of a president obsessed with defining the principal events that shaped his presidency, his place in history, and a […]

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Bomb Power The Modern Presidency and the National Security State by Garry Wills

February 2, 2012

The Manhattan Project shaped the modern presidency’s power over the Constitution unlike any event in the history of the United States. A consequence of developing “The Bomb” was an unprecedented expansion of Executive Branch power which presidents since Harry Truman to Barack Obama are loathe to relinquish. Wills recounts the controversial history of presidential decision […]

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In The President’s Secret Service: Behind The Scenes With Agents In The Line Of Fire And The Presidents They Protect by Ronald Kessler

February 2, 2012




    “In The President’s Secret Service: Behind The Scenes With Agents In The Line Of Fire And The Presidents They Protect”  by Ronald Kessler: New York Times Best Selling Author of “The Terrorist Watch” The author peels back the layers of the onion on the United States Secret Service – one of America’s secret […]

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The Coldest Winter – America And The Korean War by David Halberstam

February 2, 2012




    The author died in a tragic auto accident before his latest work was published. I do wonder if his untimely death had an impact on the book’s popularity. I have always been a student of America’s wars in the 20th Century, especially World War II. The Korean War fascinated me because it started […]

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