Bushwhacked (Molly Ivins 1944-2007 and Lou Dubose) - Random House - 2003 - 347 pages

Historians will probably be quite harsh on the tragedy of the George W. Bush administration (2001-2008) but no account could carry more weight than this volume by authors Ivins and Dubose who wrote about it in real time.  Reading about this terrible period in U.S. political history 13+ years after the fact is interesting considering the years that followed.  Molly Ivins lost her battle with breast cancer in 2007 and therefore did not experience the final year of the Bush administration whose failed economic policies led to a financial meltdown, a deep recession, and the near-collapse of the global economy.  But, Republicans learned little from this and still serve wealthy donors, destructive corporations, and the military-industrial complex.  The current Republican candidate for president makes Bush look like Santa Claus.  Lou Dubose continued his writings with The Hammer: Tom Delay: God, Money and the Rise of the Republican Congress (2004), Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency (2006), and Bill of Wrongs: The Executive Branch's Assault on America's Fundamental Rights (2007 - Molly's last book).  Ken Lay (1942-2006), one of the Enron criminals, died before he could be sent to prison.  War criminals Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc. are still on the loose. The tax cuts for the rich, the illegal war in Iraq, and the thinly-disguised attempt to turn the USA into a theocracy are all old news now.  The final chapter of the book offers several solutions to prevent another bushwhacking.  How are we doing?  Campaign Finance Control - The Citizens United SCOTUS decision of January 2010 (5-4 with Antonin Scalia 1936-2016, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts and Samuel Alito prevailing) has exacerbated the problem.  The possibility of public financing of election campaigns is extremely remote.  Voter Registrations - The U.S. electorate continues to be apathetic with eligible voters dropping from 62% in 2008 to 57% in 2012.  Redistricting - the gerrymandering of Congressional districts continues to protect incumbents across the nation.  Infrastructure - the Republican Congress has blocked every attempt by the Obama administration to establish infrastructure improvement job programs.  Cheney National Energy Policy - this is still a mystery.  Wall Street Reform - some regulations (Dodd-Frank) were approved by Congress in 2010 to address criminal trading practices but the bankers and hedge-fund managers who committed the crimes are also still on the loose.  By illustrating the disastrous actions of the Bush administration, Ivins and Dubose have served this country by telling us what to avoid.  In other words - get a brain!  [JAM 11/3/2016]