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review 2019-10-20 18:46
The Mueller Report (only took the whole summer!)
The Mueller Report - The Washington Post
I bought this particular copy/edition because of the extra materials. There is a handy timeline, listing of people, glossary, the documents, and commentary (lots of it). All of it helpful and knowledgeable. This is split in 2 parts. Volume 1 focuses on Russia. Volume 2 is more about Trump and his actions.
My takeaway? From my paying attention to news reports while this was ongoing, to the indictments, interviews that were made public, this really didn't change the opinion I already had and what I already knew.
This will come as a shock to you if you've been paying attention to the news. I mean it! It will shock you! The Russian government interfered in the 2016 election. The scope and depth Russia went to was eye-opening. And they are poised to do (and are currently doing) the same thing in 2020. Are the GOP and the Trump administration taking this seriously? That would be a fuck no! Mitch McConnell (the Senate Majority leader for those that don't know) has refused to consider and has blocked bills to help make our elections safer from foreign interference. Making it harder for Americans to vote is always on the table (because of course it is). Regardless of your political persuasion, having an election free of foreign interference, and where every registered voter can vote (should they choose to), should be something every *patriotic* American wants and strives for. And you know what? If you don't agree with the prior sentence, you are not patriotic. You are a traitor. McConnell and many of the GOP have shown they really don't care. And that SHOULD MATTER!
"I'm fucked." That was Trump's reaction when he learned about the special counsel. That's exactly the reaction an innocent individual would have, right? It's very hard for me to believe in his innocence when he was surrounded by shady, horrible people. People he chose by the way. Then, there were his actions. From firing certain individuals, to asking government agencies to dispel the notion that there was an investigation going on, criticizing the investigation and Mueller at every opportunity, attempting to stop the investigation, his lawyers asking for a "heads up" in regards to developments, declining to be interviewed directly and in person, do I seriously need to keep going?
Trump never was interviewed in person and directly. There were numerous attempts to interview Trump. Many. It was even offered to limit the topics/questions. Instead he answered several written questions. In summary, many of his answers were something along the line of "I do not recall."
I think Mueller was very careful and concise in his investigation. The decision early on that a sitting president couldn't be indicated did play a huge roll in this investigation and the resultant outcome(s). I was almost done with this when Ukraine and the multitude of revelations made happened. This is still an ongoing news story.
I will end this with this quote from The Mueller Report:
"Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgement, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President's conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgement. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigations of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstructions of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgement. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."
Who still thinks Trump is a victim and innocent?


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review 2019-10-16 12:38
A sterling history of the new nation
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 - Gordon S. Wood

In 1789 the United States started what amounted to a national reboot, as a new republic created by the ratification of the Constitution began operation. This was a massive and far-reaching endeavor, one that involved the creation of new offices and branches of government, the redefinition of institutions, and a new assessment of relationships with both the thirteen states and the American people. What was at stake was nothing less than the very survival of the country as a union of states, as all of this took place under the shadow of the failure of the Articles of Confederation to provide for a government capable of tackling the challenges facing the country in the aftermath of the American Revolution, with the likely possibility that this would be the last opportunity to make union work before the country disintegrated into thirteen independent states competing with each other —or even being reabsorbed into the British empire.


This effort to launch a new republic is at the heart of Gordon Wood's history of the first two and a half decades of the United States under the federal government. As a preeminent scholar of American political thought and the revolutionary era, there are few historians better suited to the task of writing about this period of the nation's history. What he produces is a sophisticated account that explains the magnitude of the task facing the country during this period, how it was addressed by the men involved, and how their solutions provided the details lacking in the initial framework of the country. To do this, Wood starts with an extended exploration of that framework as it was perceived by the political actors of the era, reflected not just in the recent debates over the Constituton but in how they sought to turn the structure described in the document into reality. This involved filling in the details with laws passed in the new Congress; the actions and tone set by the president, George Washington (who occupied an office with no immediate parallel in the Western world); and the decisions and authority of a new body of judges, who occupied offices viewed with distrust by many people.


As political leaders worked out these details, differences emerged that reflected divergent visions of the nation. Four men in particular stand out in Wood's description of this divergence. Two of them, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, advocated a strong national government backed by a socially conservative and hierarchical society. The other two, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, soon emerged in opposition to this, arguing for a smaller government that gave more latitude for the lower classes. Around these men coalesced the first national political parties, the Federalists and the Republicans, who fought with a bitterness that reflected the fact that the very concept of political opposition had yet to be established. This gave the politics of this period (which was still very much a preserve of the elite) a uniquely sharp edge.


In the end, the Republicans got the better of the argument, largely due to the broader changes taking place throughout the country. Wood describes well the evolution of American society during this period, which created a more egalitarian country than was envisioned by most of the Federalists. Yet by controlling the federal government for the first twelve years the Federalists were able to imprint their vision upon the country in ways that subsequent Republican Congresses and administrations were unable to alter. This was due in part to Republican disagreements as to how to undo the Federalist design, and to events overseas which underscored the need for a national government capable of expanding the nation and defending its interests abroad. The War of 1812 served as the embodiment of this need, as President Madison found his ability to wage war hampered by the underdevelopment of the country and the Republican limitations on government. Nevertheless, the nation's emergence intact from the war served as an affirmation of the success of the Constitution, reflecting its success in addressing the problems of the previous quarter-century.


In describing the history of this period, Wood displays the insights gained from a lifetime of scholarly study. This comes through on every page of the text, as he fills the book with carefully argued analysis backed by a wealth of scholarship. While Wood leans a little too heavily on his strengths as a historian of political ideology, his book untangles the complex issues of a vitally important period in American history. It makes for a sterling contribution to the Oxford History of the United States series, one guaranteed to endure as the standard text on the era for decades to come.

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text 2019-10-14 05:17
How to choose best residential moving companies for your big move

Moving your household from one place to another is a challenging experience, especially if you are making a big move for the first time. You not only have to fulfill a long list of your personal tasks, you also need to find and select a trustworthy and best moving company to make sure your moving is as stress-free as possible. Whether you are moving to your new home in Washington DC or moving across the other parts of the country you always need to hire best help of residential moving companies to provide you with the best services so that your moving can be easy and stress-free. Here are few of the tips that can be helpful while planning for moving to another place and selecting best moving companies that you can trust.


  1. Make planning in advance

Most of the experienced and professionals movers suggest that you should start your relocation at least three months before the actual moving day comes. It may seem like a long time, it will pass quickly and you will be thankful that you didn’t kept things for the last moment. Most of the moving companies book up quickly, and you don’t want to settle for the movers who leave in the middle but rather you could have chosen a more experienced moving company that offers the right services for your needs. During this time you can downsize your household belongings by holding a garage sale or donating unwanted items to local charity and make your packing easy.


  1. Search for local moving companies

The best way to start searching for best local moving companies is you should talk with your family and friends circle who have recently moved. They can guide you better with their experience and tell you if their experience was satisfactory. You can also research online by visiting best moving companies’ websites and their reviews and affiliation with industry organizations such as better business bureau and American moving and storage association. You can also get information if you are searching for long distance moving companies.


  1. Request in-home estimates of moving

After completing your research about the best moving companies, choose two or three household moving companies and request for the estimates. This process should bring about in-home consultations with trained professionals who will take complete look over of your belongings, will guide you about your family needs, and provide you with an estimate of total moving cost. So that you are able to decide selecting company that suits you better.


  1. Request for personalized services

moving your household involves moving all your personal belongings, and you need to choose a mover that offer personalized moving services that include all your moving needs such as full-service packing, fragile-only packing, stretch-wrapping of your furniture, doorway and floor protection, short and long-term storage solutions, request help from unloading moving labor for unloading your belongings.

  1. Choose your mover wisely

After going through all procedures, now you are able to select which moving company suits you better and that is perfect for your family. If you don’t feel satisfaction with two or three moving companies that fits your estimated budget, don’t be afraid to start the process of finding suitable moving companies again.

Source: citylocalpro.com/067-residential-moving-washington-dc
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review 2019-10-06 03:04
(Audiobook) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving

I got this book as a freebie from audible (my first audiobook, btw!) six years ago and have listened to it every year since then.


Here's the review I posted in 2014, and here's the annual Tom Mison picture, because he's easy on the eyes.



And here he is as Ichabod Crane. TV Ichabod is far superior to Book Ichabod, btw.


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text 2019-10-06 02:56
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving

Somebody needs to tell Tom Mison to narrate more audiobooks.


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