• Not just this, of course:

    “Why would you stop this? Everyone wants this!”

    … but also: none wants to be the politician who didn’t buy the goodie that might have Protected us from the next big attack (despite BushCo having got off scot-free for ignoring the warnings about 9/11).

  • So sorry to have missed this Book Salon! I really, really liked this book and suggest everyone buy and read it. It’s just enough science with much better characterizations that Michael Crichton ever did, plus a really plausible theory of the case. Thanks for writing it, and thanks for chatting today!

  • Thanks to all involved for a wonderful Book Salon today!

  • That’s a very interesting footnote about Felt. One has to wonder, given his later role, if he thought there was a reason to provide some level of accessibility to those files. I mean, when has a government agent ever actually thought, “Our security is fine as is.”?

  • …. and yet, now, the American people seem terribly complacent about our intel agencies’ manipulation and monitoring. Is it that we’ve got used to it, or everyone “knows it’s happening” or what, do you suppose?

  • Thank you for this book, and thanks for chatting with us today. I’ve only just started reading it, so if my questions are answered within your book, my apologies.

    I wonder bout tradecraft — the conspiracy to commit the burglary. Not that our current bumbling “national security” apparatus catches anyone they don’t set up nowadays, but do you think a burglary like this one could be planned and executed without detection today? I’m particularly thinking of the peace activists who were recently sentenced for their break-in to a nuclear research facility. Seems to me that the nuts-and-bolts security (thinking, also, of the napping security guard who missed the World Trade Center BASE jumpers last fall….) is just as lax as it ever was.

    Your thoughts on how easy it might be to procure such documents, from such a facility, in the modern era?

  • Vigilant to what end, though, I wonder? What possible purpose can be served by being ever more vigilant?

    Surely the banks will get whatever they want from their captured regulators and legislators, whenever they need it. One cannot expect public disapproval of any such favors to stand in the way of their being granted. It’s the (not new) way of the world.

    I appreciate this book, and its framing is swell — sins, indeed. I simply wonder what purpose is served. Does the author believe this documentation will stop it from happening again? I imagine not.

  • Hello Luke Harding! Thanks for writing this very readable book. I’m also most interested in the actions now being taken (in Maryland and Utah, e.g.) to deny our NSA the water it claims to need (classified, of course) to run its enormous data centers, especially in Utah, the US’s second-driest state. Are there any similar efforts you’re aware of in the UK, local efforts to stymie data collection?

    Again, thanks for this book and for chatting today (fine intro, also, Kevin!)

  • Thanks for answering! That’s very good to hear. It’s the staffers who generate the real questions, I suppose — ‘critters too busy taking legal bribes. It does seem like the distributed jobs program that is our military acquisition process might defeat any attempt at real reform.

  • Well, there’s a whole lot of duplicative eggsalad-wearing top-end management that could be erased from org charts, for a start.

  • Thank you for joining us today, and for writing your provocative book.

    This book proposes a solution I’ve long advocated: abolishing the Air Force while retaining air power, housed in the services that can best utilize it. The most depressing thing I read was in the intro: the long list of “necessary” air power systems that have never been used in anger, throughout the history of our acquisitive and appropriations-driven Air Force.

    I’m interested in knowing the reception for your book. Have you had any (need not name them, of course) Capitol Hill denizens take a look, and provide feedback? I wonder if the omitted “-Congressional” part of Ike’s Military-Industrial- Complex” warning would prohibit any possible reconfiguration of the Pentagon that omitted the AF.

    Again, thanks for chatting today…. I look forward to completing your book this weekend!

  • We need drug tests for lawmakers, then.

  • Congratulations on the book, Jon! It’s an important addition to the pot library, which seems to grow every day. I’m very proud of you for this accomplishment. Thanks for writing it, and for chatting today. (Very nice intro, Philip!)

    I’d like to know where you think our next legalization victories will come — do you suppose states will hold back to see how things play out in CO and WA? Or are other states ready to move forward into full legal status right away?

  • Don’t you think there’s a “cult of the savvy” journalism, too, though? Like in political reporting, where there are intermediary journalists pumping out the propaganda from their sources, for the consumption by folks who think themselves insiders? I worry about the online day-trader who watches Jim Cramer and thinks he’s getting some kind of inside track. My dad, who used to read Barrons cover to cover every Sunday, told me that he read it to understand what was widely known and no longer relevant, not what was coming-up and soon-to-happen: he maintained that anything that got into Barron’s (or the WSJ, on weekdays) wasn’t worth acting on, because the smartest money had already been made on it.

    Isn’t the biggest market for financial *news* those people who think they are getting the inside story, but are really being manipulated by those with the puts and calls in place to make money on the upcoming market movement? I mean, the Big Guys on Wall Street aren’t going to share anything with a reporter, no matter how pet and tame, until their position is in place.

    That’s why I call it propaganda, not information, that folks on television get from their sources: there’s an angle, and by not seeing and reporting on that angle, they are ensuring more propaganda comes their way. Which keeps their audience and Q score up!

  • Thank you both for joining us today.

    Do you examine the “a man’s paycheck depends” theory about financial reporting? By which I mean that clearly there’s a cheerleading aspect to much of the financial reporting in America today: CEO worship, ego-stroking of Players, and that coveted Golden Ticket to “report” at Davos. But the bosses of these journalists (using that term loosely) are peers of those being reported on, or interviewed, or discussed. Won’t employees run afoul of their employers’ desired outcome about their friends? And doesn’t that affect the accountability we can expect?

    As long as corporate journalism is a plaything of the rich — and when hasn’t it been, really? — won’t the vassals toiling within its ranks be required to adopt a certain tone, push a perfect pitch, and endorse certain outcomes?

    (PS I love your book’s cover! Couldn’t be a better image for *all* our “liberal media!)

  • Until, of course, they are permitted to come to the floor by Leader McConnell, at which point and despite all the maximum debate time taken up, many nominations are approved almost unanimously. Even now.

    I’m also interested in the new “blue slip” abuse being practiced in the Judiciary Committee — where Obama has nominated to federal judgeships candidates suggested by GOP Senators, only to see Chairman Leahy having to honor a blue slip (veto) from that same Senator. Marco Rubio recently pulled this stunt over the first gay black nominee to the federal judiciary, and Senator Burr has done it as well. While Patrick Leahy honors blue-slips from senators representing the state of the nominee despite their having recommended them previously, previous GOP Chair Orrin Hatch never honored blue slips.

    Is this another “rule” of the Senate better set aside by both parties instead of only one?

  • I was very impressed recently, speaking of third-party Senators, that it was Senator Bernie Sanders’ unemployment extension bill that Leader Reid brought to the floor.

  • This is quite a book, comprehensive and detailed. I am enjoying it even though it’s probably more than any casual student of the Senate would undertake. Thanks for writing it, and for chatting with us today!

    Why do you think Senate Democrats have lost the battle for narrative over the filibuster? How can GOP Senators like Lamar Alexander accuse Harry Reid of “destroying the Senate” without a riposte that Mitch McConnell has ruined the “advise and consent” clause? I simply don’t understand why nominations can be treated this way, both Article III and executive appointments: more have been filibustered under Obama than all other Presidents’ combined!

    Can you make an institutional connection between the race-filibusters in the Senate of yore, over Civil Rights and anti-lynching bills, and the current treatment of our nation’s first African-American president’s nominations and policies at the hand of obstructionist Southern Senators? It seems to me it’s all of a piece: white privilege-holders seeing their majorities and power slipping away, using record-setting levels of every trick in the book to de-legitimize the black American.

    Your thoughts?

  • Teddy Partridge commented on the blog post FDL Book Salon – End of Year Chat

    2013-12-28 15:31:35View | Delete

    I’ve not read it, but Rob Delaney’s “Mother, Wife, Sister, Human, Warrior, Falcon, Yardstick, Turban, Cabbage” sure sounds like it has, as touted by people I respect, been written by the funniest man on Twitter!

  • Teddy Partridge commented on the blog post FDL Book Salon – End of Year Chat

    2013-12-28 15:28:56View | Delete

    Having a great-grandfather stonemason who contributed to the TX state capitol’s construction, I’m very interested in this book!

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