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Opinions, Videos, Book Reviews  
Fun Stuff  Election Issues & Demographics

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Economic Issues and US Political Economy

Schematics: US Federal Government and Politics
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Course Notes

One-Page Political Economy

Opinions, Videos, Book Reviews

José Pablo Quirós12BEnglish

1. Click for 45 Interactive Slides

The Basics


Building America's Democratic Federalist Republic
1. Beginnings of a Democratic Federalist Republic
2. Determining Political Power and "We the People"

3. Expanding "We the People"
Our Democratic Federalist Capitalist Republic

Thomas Jefferson Leader of the Opposition
Other Basic Stuff
U.S. Political Economy Internet Library
Political Economy Readings
Capitalistic Democracy Run Government at a Profit

Quick Notes One-Page U.S. Political Histor
federal debt, health care, education & economic

20th Century Decade Evaluation

Political Eras One 1788 to 1892   pdf
Political Eras Two 1896 to 2016   pdf

Presidential Elections One 1778-1824   pdf
Presidential Elections Two 1828-1852      
Presidential Elections Three 1856-1892       

Presidential Elections Four 1896-1928   pdf
Presidential Elections Five 1932-72      pdf  
Presidential Elections Six 1976-2012    

Political Junkie Sites
Hardball with Chris Mathews
intelligence squared us
Political Junkie from NPR
Voter’s Spending Guides

Public Square
11 Useful Apps for Political Junkies

Election Issues 2016

Economics of Political Economy
Part III Government, Capitalism, Our Mixed Economy
30) Public Goods Help When Markets Fail
31) Market Based Government Externality Intervention
32) Antitrust and Other Government Regulation
33) Distributing Income

Created 8/16/16
About the Author/Editor  

Washington Post Opinions 11/3/16

Why Wasn't the Bill of Rights Originally in Constitution
Why is the Constitution Hard to Amend
Justice Stephen Breyer on Charlie Rose video

Book Review

"The Audacity of Hope" by Barack Obama (2006)
"Hard Choices" by Hillary Rodham Clinton (2014)

Presidential Courage Summary
Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989  
By Michael Beschloss  

G. Washington created Executive Privilege pdf
J. Adams avoided a Quasi-War with France
which cost him reelection.
A. Jackson
took on eastern bankers

because he felt it had excessive power over farmers.
A. Lincoln required freeing the slaves
as a condition of saving the Union.

T. Roosevelt took on monopoly RR trusts
to protect, farms and consumers from high prices.

FDR took the unpopular stance of planning for war
but still managed a third term and then a fourth term.
HT quickly recognize the new sate of Israel
in the face of pressure from all sides.
JFK continued to push school integration
despite potential political pressures.
RR hastened the end of the Cold War
with massive deficit spending.

Thomas Jefferson1The Art of Power
by Jon Meacham Summarized by Walter Antoniotti

Thomas Jefferson Leader of the Opposition

Political Economy Book Reviews
Turning Points in American History
 400 years Five 2-page parts
American Dynasty Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit
in the House of Bush, by Kevin Phillips
, 6p

Second Chance Three Presidents and the Crisis of America Superpower by Zbigniew Brzezinski, 6p summary,
Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century "Why We' re in a New Gilded Age" by Thomas Piketty 2014
More Book Reviews

More Political Economy Schematics

Image result for political spectrum diagram

Image result for political spectrum diagram

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Fun Stuff



Democracy cartoons, Democracy cartoon, funny, Democracy picture, Democracy pictures, Democracy image, Democracy images, Democracy illustration, Democracy illustrations

Image result for Political Bureaucracy cartoons


Washington Post Opinions 11/3/16

Bring Back Earmarks
Make Representatives Accountable to Voters
Fix Government Shutdown Politics
Lets Shine Some Light On Dark money

More Book Reviews

The Limits of Power Video The End of American Exceptionalism, Bill Moyers sits down with history and international relations expert and former US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich who identifies three major problems facing our democracy: the crises of economy, government and militarism, and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life. The Limits of Power Democracy Now interviews Andrew Bacevich, a conservative historian who spent twenty-three years serving in the US Army.  

How You Can Kill Al-Qaeda in Three Easy Steps review from  Boing Boing  
I just got done reading Howard Clark's new book "How You Can Kill Al-Qaeda (in Three Easy Steps). He's an ex-Marine and former Homeland Security adviser who says the way to win the war on terrorism is to help empower the mainstream Muslim community, who in recent years has been overshadowed in the public spotlight by fringe Al-Qaeda extremists. The whole idea of fighting terrorism with ideas and not weapons is definitely nothing new, but Clark's populist tone and foreign policy street cred was a refreshing perspective to have in the discussion. "Click on the link below in the next 30 minutes and I'll throw in this egg slicer absolutely free! Here's how to order!" Book's official site...  
One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy
In this CSPAN2 book interview,  Allison Stanger talks of her book which looks at the increasing use of private contractors by the U.S. government and argues that with proper oversight contractors can be valuable tools for carrying out our foreign policy.  Includes audience Q&A.&rrrrddnbsp;

Don't Know Much About History 
Everything You Need To Know About  American History But Never Learned, by Kenneth C. Davis 6p

The Shifts and Shock What We Learned from the Financial Crisis by Martin Wolf 9/11/14

Seven Bad Ideas How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World by Jeff Madrick Reviewed by Peter Richardson 2014

Hoodwinked  An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded--and What We Need to Do to Remake Them, by  John Perkins

Education and Income Inequality, chapter 21 The Age of Turbulence, Adventures in a New World, by Alan Greenspan 

"Nickel and Dimed" On (Not) Getting By in America is a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich. Written from the perspective of the undercover journalist, ...

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism is critical and a good source of the twenty-three items 

Videos by Ha-Joon Chang
    Part I     Part II     Part III   

The Center Holds Obama and His Enemies
is "the thrilling story of one of the most momentous contests in American history, the Battle Royale between Obama and his enemies from the 2010 midterms through the 2013 inauguration." Video by Jonathan Alter, 2013

"This Time Is Different" is a history of financial collapse from 1300 to the present.

"The Shock Doctrine: The evil of “Disaster Capitalism, a book report video was posted to the Crooks and Liars  blog on December 1, 2007

What the 1% Don't Want You to Know
video by liberal economist Paul Krugman fears Oligopoly power

War and Politics

Guns, Germs, and Steel -  the fates of human societies   '... attempts to explain why Eurasian civilizations, as a whole, have survived and conquered others, while attempting to refute the belief that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual, moral, or inherent genetic superiority." 

Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century. By Christian Caryl. Basic; 400 pages
argues that 1979 belongs to the select club of real turning-points: "years in which one era ended and another was born. 1917 proved to be a bloody dead end and 1848 proved to be, in A.J.P. Taylor’s phrase, “a turning-point in history when history failed to turn”. But others, such as 1789 (when France’s ancient régime collapsed) and 1517 (when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door), resound down the ages." Editors note: Was the liberalism of the 20th century coming to an end?

Free Trade Doesn't  Work by Ian Fletcher, adjunct fellow at the United States Business and Industry Council, and CPA' In his effective 267 pages of text, Ian Fletcher dissects and often demolishes fundamental teachings about the benefits and risks of trade and replaces them with evidence based updates.  He then recommends a practical alternative based on clear objectives.

Nemesis by Chalmers Johnson from Stephen Lendman of counter currents "Our democracy and way of life are now threatened because of our single-minded pursuit of empire with a well-entrenched militarism driving it that's become so powerful and pervasive it's now an uncontrollable state within the state."


Why Trump-Sanders Phenomenon Signals an
Oligarchy on the Brink of a Civilization-Threatening Collapse


US Election Issues and Historical Demographics

2016 Election Issues

What Was Not Talked About!

Executive Summary

Country Economic Issues
Solving the Deficit Problem won't be easy.  
Can We Afford Entitlements
Existing? Additional?  

Solving the Lack of Good Jobs affects many
Income Inequality Analysis, Affect on Growth, Cures

International Issues

Lost International Greatness  

Lost Economic Greatness
Free Trade Solution or Problem
Income Stagnates
is a serious complicated issue

Individual Economic Issues
Economic Wellbeing concerns everyone.
Economic Future of Children requires attention.
Are Child & Youth Protected bothers many.

Avoiding Income Stagnation requires individual investigation

Political Issues
Our Democratic Federalist Republic?
 Should Tea Party Share Its Tea? 
Is Politics About the Money? 

Why is Poverty Controversial?


Was the 2016 Election the Most Out-of-Whack in US History

pop vote chart v 2



Election 2016 Demographics



Young-Adult Voting: An Analysis of Presidential Elections, 1964–2012



A lot of nonvoters are mad at the election results. If only there were something they could have done!

voter Turnout BI Graphic

Global Political Freedom Index



The Era of Distortion 2004 D Brooks sees the Internet Heard before Facebook

UN  Details Its Failure to Stop 1995 Bosnian Massacre Finally Clinton overruled larger Western Europe's large Democracies and the massacre ended.


Plato on Community



Book Reviews

"The Audacity of Hope" by Barack Obama

from Roger Darlington

When this bestselling book was first published in 2006, Barack Obama had spent just two years as a United States Senator, the only African American in the upper chamber; by the time I read it in the summer of 2008, he was the presumptive Democratic nominee in the presidential election and the favorite for the White House. The title comes from a sermon by Obama's then pastor Rev Jeremiah Wright whom the politician was forced to repudiate in the course of the Democratic primary, while the sub-title is "Thoughts on reclaiming the American dream".

Whereas Obama's first book "Dreams From My Father" was biographical and written almost in the style of a novel, this later work is essentially a set of nine political essays - over 360 pages covering Republicans and Democrats, values, the US Constitution, politics, opportunity, faith, race, the wider world, and family - although there are many personal anecdotes and the style is remarkably fluent. The overall impression is of a thoughtful, perceptive, measured and caring politician who in American terms is refreshingly liberal and empathetic. This is a man who life experiences ensure that he understands poverty in the USA and in the world and sides with the disposed and the powerless.















"Hard Choices" by Hillary Rodham Clinton

from Roger Darlington

This is quite a tome: some 600 pag

He sees government more as part of the solution than the problem, favors provision of healthcare and abortion rights, backs affirmative action for minorities and trade union representation for workers, wants greater investment in education, science and technology, and energy independence, and believes than America should be less autocratic abroad and more willing to talk to opponents as well as allies. But he supports the death penalty in limited circumstances, understands the cultural meaning of guns in rural communities, and generally shows respect for the views of his political opponents. There is little detail to his policies but he sets out his principles very clearly and eloquently. His main theme is "the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics - the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, and our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem".

For a top level politician, his frankness is astonishing - he admits at different times in his life to "a chronic restlessness", "self-indulgence and self-destructiveness", and a "style of communicating that can be rambling, hesitant and overly verbose", and even acknowledges that "of all the areas of my life, it is in my capacities as a husband and father that I entertain the most doubt". What drives him? "My fierce ambitions might have been fueled by my father - by my knowledge of his achievements and failures, by my unspoken desire to somehow earn his love, and by my resentment and anger toward him".

es (thankfully no footnotes or end notes). But it covers a lot of ground: the four years (2009-2013) that Hillary Clinton spent as Secretary of State during the first term of the Barack Obama presidency. Her natural abilities, plus a book team of three, ensure that it is well-written, informative and thoughtful, but there are no significant differences of opinion with Obama or criticisms of world leaders because Clinton is keeping her options open for a run at the presidency in 2016. Will she run? She simply states" "I haven't decided yet". I hope she does and I hope she wins. This was my position before reading her memoir and my view is simply reinforced by reading the book.

When Clinton failed to win the Democratic primary race against Obama, she famously declared: “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it”. When Obama won the presidential contest, she had no interest in becoming Vice-President and every intention of returning to the Senate. Then, when Obama invited her to become Secretary of State, she was “floored”, turned it down, and took two weeks to be persuaded.

Obama kept his promise of access and she reckons she was at the White House more than 700 times during her four years in office. In the book, she mentions very few differences with the White House, perhaps the most important being her wish to arm rebels in the Syrian civil war and Obama's decision not to support this approach. It looks to have been a relationship that quickly developed mutual trust and at the end Obama declared that they had gone from "a team of rivals" to "an unrivalled team". She ended up visiting 112 countries and travelling nearly one million miles with more than 2,000 hours (equivalent to 87 full days) in the air. She claims that, over the years, she had developed the ability to sleep almost anywhere at any time (me too).

She describes Secretary of State as being three roles - the country’s chief diplomat, the president’s principal adviser on foreign policy, and chief executive of a department of 70,000 personnel - and she characterizes the nation’s foreign policy are comprised of the 3 Ds – defiance, diplomacy and development. She makes the usual distinctions in foreign policy between 'hard power' (military forces in its various forms) and 'soft power' (diplomatic, economic and cultural influences) and advocates an approach of what she calls 'smart power' - the right combination of different elements of hard and/or soft power for each particular situation.

After a couple of introductory chapters, “Hard Choices” does not follow a chronological approach but instead the bulk of the book (some 450 pages) comprises a series of chapters on different countries and regions around the globe: after a general chapter on Asia, specific ones on China, Burma, Afghanistan and Pakistan; then chapters on Europe, Russia, Latin America, and Africa; and, after a general chapter on the Middle East, dedicated chapters on the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, Libya, the 2012 death of the US ambassador in Benghazi, Iran, Syria and Gaza. Only at the end are there a few thematic chapters on global challenges such as climate change, energy and human rights. The book is dotted with some fascinating facts and figures on different countries and issues.

A key feature of the Obama/Clinton partnership was the so-called "pivot strategy", an effort to re-focus American attention more towards Asia and so, in a break from precedent, Clinton's first trip was to Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China with a first ever visit by a US Secretary of State to ASEAN. Understandably she expresses concern about tensions especially in the South and East China Seas where China is increasingly flexing its growing military muscle. Another distinguishing feature of the new administration was an attempt to “reset” relations with Russia and Clinton even presented a mocked-up reset button to Russia’s Foreign Secretary Lavrov. However, the button was labeled ‘peregruzka’ (overcharged) rather than ‘perezagruzka’ (reset) and the effort soon ran into Putin's belligerence.

For anyone interested in international affairs or global politics - like me - this is a really interesting read which takes us through all the major trouble spots of the world, almost all of which - perhaps most notably the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iran's nuclear aspirations and the assertiveness of Russia - remain active. In each case, Clinton sets out the historic background to the challenge and then describes her efforts to improve the situation. Although inevitably in a memoir, the account is somewhat self-serving and there is very little in the way of rethinking, it is a sensible and sensitive review which reflects considerable knowledge, commitment and passion for social justice.

The only real expression of a change of view is in relation to a decision before she even ran for the Democratic nomination: the vote to authorize military action in Iraq. She writes: "I came to deeply regret giving President Bush the benefit of the doubt on that vote" and "While many were never going to look past my 2002 vote no matter what I did or said, I should have stated my regret sooner and in the plainest, most direct language possible".

The theme of the book - captured in the title and alluded to many times - is that all decisions in international affairs are complicated and difficult trade-offs of principle and pragmatism. As she puts it: "Keeping America safe, strong and prosperous presents an endless set of choices, many of which come with imperfect information and conflicting imperatives". She refers to "our classic dilemma" and asks" "Should we do business with a leader with whom we disagreed on so many things in the name of advancing core security interests?".

As she explains: "The question of nations working together on some issues while clashing on others is part of a classic debate within foreign policy circles" and "Straight up transactional diplomacy isn't always pretty, but often it's necessary". In the end, she insists: "As you've seen throughout this book, there are times when we do have to make difficult compromises. Our challenge is to be clear-eyed about the world as it is while never losing sight of the world as we want it to become