Book Review : HRC

hrcSince the early 1990’s, there has been a Clinton in the news. It all began with Bill being elected as POTUS is 1992 and 1996. This was followed by Hillary’s election to the Senate. This was followed by a failed attempt by Hillary to defeat Barrack Obama for the presidency in 2008. Her defeat was followed by confirmation as Secretary of State, a cabinet office which she held well into 2012. Suffice to say that Americans have come to know the Clinton family very well through both scandal and service. In their new book, “HRC; State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Rodham Clinton” veteran Washington journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes have put together a snapshot of a very specific 4-5 year period of Hillary’s life. They chronicle her rise from the ashes of a failed presidential bid and subsequent work as Secretary of State in the Obama administration.

The opening of the books is reminiscent of a funeral service which lay to rest a failed political campaign. The authors reveal the thought process of Hillary’s camp, referred to as “Hillarylanders” as they attempt to determine what happened and who they need to blame. Allen and Parnes trace the steps and connect the dots as to how Hillary goes from defeated candidate and Obama’s most visible rival to Obama’s most trusted and influential cabinet member. The great majority of the book details the highs and lows of Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State. The high points include the tracking and death of Osama bin Laden and the facilitation of the democratic efforts among nations involved in the Arab Spring. The lowest point of her tenure include the mishandling and leadership failure in protecting US personnel and American interests during the attacks in Benghazi, Libya where four American died. The authors dedicate an entire chapter to this tragedy, tragedy that will likely haunt Hillary the rest of her political life. The final part of this book deals with the possibility of Hillary’s presidential run in 2016.

There are two words that describe the Clinton political machine that comes through in HRC so very clear: loyalty and revenge. You need to look no further than the opening chapter, “Hillary’s Hit List”. One of the things that get in the way of the effectiveness of this book is the consistent muddying of the storyline through name-dropping. The authors seem to want the reader to know all of the people that personally know. This book is as much about Bill as it is Hillary. Although this book is intended to chronicle rebirth to the political landscape, the authors tell what Bill was to doing all along the way to facilitate that rebirth. This book proves a point that may have been unintended, but is still crystal clear. The point is that if it had not been for Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton, Hillary would likely have enjoyed a much smaller public stage.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review : Awakening; How America Can Turn From Economic and Moral Destruction to Greatness

awakeningI would dare say that little argument can be found over the notion that the United States has lost/is gaining ground as a leader among other nations. Signs pointing to this reality are clear and increasing. It seems every day that another block is removed from the conservative foundation that this great nation was built upon. It has been argued that Rome fell, not because of an outside military threat, but fell because of inward corruption. Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, in his new book, “Awakening; How America Can Turn From Economic and Moral Destruction Back to Greatness”, seems to agree as he writes, “Similarly in America, the most lethal threat to freedom today comes not from a foreign military opponent. It comes from within.” The faces of this internal corrosion include, but are not limited to tax-payer funded abortion, bi-partisan conflict in Congress, weakened foreign policy, economic slowdown bordering on depression, an overstretched and burdened military, exponential growth in the national debt, government sanctioned persecution of the Christian faith as seen in IRS harassment, assaults on the institution of marriage, rises in pornography, gambling, human trafficking, and many other moral issues.

Reed sets the stage for a comeback with a sobering picture of what a prosperous and conservative America looks like. He begins by describing what is a called spiritual cycles. This refers to the course that a country runs from prosperity to want. He uses the nation of Israel as an example. The Bible gives us an up close picture of a nation that went from good to bad to good. Spiritual cycles, as Reed writes, move through a series of six stages, “Faith leading to obedience to God’s laws, obedience creating abundance, abundance leading to pride, pride leading to apostasy, apostasy leading to defeat and judgment, and repentance leading back to faith.” Reed shows how America was on the front side of this cycle as a nation built upon Judeo-Christian values. He also shows how America prospered under the leadership of President Ronal Reagan. This is section entitled “In Motion”, or what America looked like before the wheels starting coming off the cart.

In the second section, entitled “Off Course”, Reed demonstrates how America, now under the leadership of a President Barrack Obama, who is the polar opposite of Ronald Reagan, is languishing in the fourth and fifth part of the spiritual cycle. Reed cites matters such as a disregard for sanctity of the US Constitution, his spoken support of same-sex marriage, failure to act decisively in foreign policy matters, and increasing the dependency of the poor on government services as the signs of a dangerous drifting from conservative roots. In Section Three, “Awakening”, Reed gives the steps that we can take to bring America back to greatness. His steps are: The Reenergizing of Lincoln’s Party, A Bold Pro-Family Plan, and A Call to Christian Citizenship.

Reed has written a great book. I really enjoyed Reed’s background on the forming of America as a conservative nation. This is very helpful. I also liked how Reed set the presidencies of Reagan and Obama alongside each other using the words and press reports from each presidency. The book becomes a summary of the failures of the current administration. I have no problem with this, but I am sure Democrats will take issue here. All in all, Awakening is a well-researched, passionately written clarion call to return to the moorings that made America great.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Worthy Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review : The Founders Key

There is a great deal of discussion and debate across the emotionally charged political landscape of America today in regards to the Constitution. Should it be changed? Should it be thrown out? Should it be amended regularly to accommodate the ever-changing fabric of society? Is it still relevant? Is it open to individual interpretation in its enforcement? What were the framers really thinking when it was first penned? Can we ignore it and still have some resemblance of organized and civilized government? While many find the Constitution outdated, questionable, and rigid, there are the same that lean toward another founding document, the Declaration of Independence, to provide a pattern for governance.

In Dr. Larry Arnn’s new book “The Founders Key; The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It”, he brings an intense light upon the Progressive Movement in government today. “Progressives”  are the new liberals, those on the opposite side of the aisle from the conservatives. This book is Arnn’s attempt to refute the Progressives position of greater freedom of thought when it comes to the basic purpose and principles of the Constitution and Declaration. In Chapter Two, Arnn gives a recent example. He , he relates a story that on October 22, 2009, a reporter asked then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, “Where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?” To which she replied, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” Pelosi’s response is representative of the thought that as times change, the government has to change.

There is a sense given by progressives that there is a need to extend the scope of government to some form of non-representative style. One that is less ruled by the people and more by those who were elected by those very same people to be their voices in government. Arnn describes the Progressive Movement of today as ready to embrace the expressed rights of the individual given by the Declaration, which are not law, while at the same time divorcing themselves of the Constitution, which being law, gives the principles of how these inalienable rights are protected. Former President Woodrow Wilson also carried a negative view of the Constitution. Since his days in office, the Constitution has weathered an increasingly hostile attack from the “progressives” in this country. Arnn writes, “They say every kind of negative thing against its meaning, its goodness, its relevance, its scope, its legality, its advisability, its comprehensibility, its connection or harmony with the rest of the Founding and especially with the Declaration of Independence. This practice has now persisted so long as to become tradition, nearly half as old as the Constitution itself.”

The point of Arnn’s book is to show that the Constitution and the Declaration are inherently linked. The inalienable rights that are spelled out in the Declaration which were the genesis of the Revolution are cemented in the Constitution. Arnn argues that the Declaration is the “why” of freedom and the Constitution is the “how” of freedom. Arnn provides extensive and useful material from some of America’s most foundational writings: select Federalist Papers, the Constitution of the United States, and the Declaration of Independence. All are included in the back of the book so the reader can make easy reference.

The Founders Key is not an easy read. Although the actual book is only 123 pages (the remaining 75 pages are the foundational writings), it cannot be skimmed, rather, must be digested slowly. This book will not be enjoyed by all. That being said, everyone should read it. It’s truthful, insightful, and enlightening. A must read for those concerned about the direction and future of America.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Worth Repeating

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be replaced or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

James Madison, The Federalist Papers