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Sinking the Ship of State:

The Presidency of George W. Bush



With biting wit and deep insight, award-winning journalist Walter M. Brasch probes deep into the Bush–Cheney Administration and extracts the truth from eight years of American history.




Critical Acclaim
Like a political spelunker, veteran journalist Walter Brasch descends into the grimier chambers of American life under the Bush administration. From the brittle pieties of fundamentalist preachers to domestic snooping by governmental voyeurs, Brasch shines a merciless light on the moral hypocrites and constitutional villains who act as the self-appointed protectors of the nation. In a climate of public panic and official paranoia, Brasch keeps his cool while interpreting the political crime scene, offering rationality as a signpost through the perilous labyrinth of the post-9/11 world. You might want to avert your eyes from these grim tidings. Don't. While the story here is unsettling, Brasch's writing is propelled by a lively sense of humor and an acute sensitivity to the darker ironies of our times."   -Jeffrey St. Clair, co-editor, CounterPunch;
 
"When most Americans and the mainstream media were accepting whatever they were told by the Bush Administration, Walter Brasch was meticulously peeling away the incompetence, deceit, corruption and, most of all, their cavalier attitude to the Constitu-tion. Sinking the Ship of State reveals the heavy price that our country has paid for the arrogance, autocracy, and avarice of the Bushites."  -Jim Hightower, syndicated
 
"A powerful, compelling and accurate indictment of the Bush administration. Walt Brasch is a journalist who for more than  four decades has not been afraid to question authority -to ask the tough questions and speak the truth, no matter what the rest of the media say. During a time when the mainstream media were either inept or afraid to challenge a sitting president, Brasch has constantly pointed out constitutional and civil rights violations. This book pulls the story together into a whole so the sum of the parts add up to a fascinating big picture that is far worse than any of the mainstream media portrayed."  -Rob Kall, editor, OpEd News
 
"A journalist himself, Walter Brasch does not spare the media in his well-informed and well-written account of the real-time history of this benighted era. It should serve as a call to action in behalf of our imperiled democracy." -Alice Cherbonnier, editor, Baltimore Chronicle

"Walter Brasch is one of the first and most consistent columnists to warn about George W. Bush and his neo-conservative administration's plans for a pre-emptive attack on Iraq and the drummed up evidence of WMD. Brasch reports on the lies and corruption of this administration and their power grabbing agenda. He has chronicled Bush failures from a nonexisting domestic agenda to war-mongering and the constitutional and human rights violations that have followed that action. Brasch is an articulate and entertaining writer exposing the most inept administration in our nation's history." -Regina Huelman, editor, Liberal Opinion Week
 
"Sinking the Ship of State traces the arc of the Bush presidency from its humble beginnings in the slime of the South Carolina primary to its zenith on a carrier deck beneath a "Mission Accomplished"  banner and down to its sorry demise in impeachment proceedings. (OK, the impeachment hasn't actually happened, but Brasch makes a good case for it.) Along the way he produces amazing facts -did you know, for example, that the official name of the Patriot Act is the USA PATRIOT Act, an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism? -and lays the whip to an indolent press, -cash register patriots,-and a corrupt Congress, among other miscreants. It is an exhilarating ride; not recommended for neo-cons with high blood pressure."  -Don Kaul, syndicated columnist; retired Washington columnist, Des Moines Register
 
"In Walter Brasch's work you will encounter a uniquely American, very creative mind that grapples with the most basic of political problems -an unresponsive isolated White House, and an aloof, blind-lead-the-blind Congress -and emerge with a feast of ideas and insight that will stay with you for a long time to come."
-Joe Shea, Editor-in-Chief, The American Reporter
 
"In a world where "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity," Walter Brasch turns Yeats on his head. Walter's intense passions for liberty and enlightenment make him one of the best voices we have to combat the worst who rule over us. Probing, witty, insightful and learned, Dr. Brasch gives good medicine for what ails us."  -Chris Floyd, syndicated  columnist
 
"Brasch is a master at weeding through the political lies, deceit, corruption, rhetoric, and hyperbole to help us find the truth. He is a man we need very much in today's complex society. . . . If you're interested in politics, this book should be on your table beside your bed." -Midwest Book Review
 
"Brasch's writing is, in turns, witty, enraged, heartfelt and uncannily accurate and prescient. . . . [This book] offers insights into what can  be expected in the coming campaigns. More importantly, it reminds us if the errors of our recent past, thereby giving us a tool by which we can begin shaping a better political future for our country. It is a timely book that deserves, perhaps even de-mands, a wide readership." -BookPleasures
 
"[This is a] critical, compelling in-depth analysis of the Bush presidency. . . . Under Brasch's unflinching eye, insightful wisdom and scalpel sharp wit, the Bush Administration is dissected and laid bare upon the autopsy table of Free Speech. But he doesn't stop there, also slicing and dicing Congress and the mainstream media as enablers of the President and his Cabinet. His columns [are] honest and brutal in their reporting, and do not suffer through the prism of hindsight. . . . Brasch was ahead of the curve of popular opinion about George W. Bush and many of his policies. . . . Brasch's commentary is ardent and passionate while always re-maining clear-eyed and focused, seeking accountability and responsibility from an Administration notorious for being insular and never admitting to any mistakes. [A] lively, forthright, witty, comprehensive and intellectual commentary of the Bush Presidency." -Alternative Read
 
"While other authors were hastening for cover, Mr. Brasch hastened to find and report the truth. . . . Only Molly Ivans came as close to discovering the true George W. Bush at as early a date as Walter Brasch. His columns of February and March 2000 were right on and should serve as examples to all members of the media of what good reporting is all about. . . . As the Bush presidency wore on, Mr. Brasch continued his hard hitting columns exposing President Bush at every turn. By April 2007 he had focused on and exposed the Bush-Cheney Administration in one hard hitting column after another." -Kenneth Briggs, OpEd News
 
"Brasch is a fabulous researcher and really nails GWB regarding a whole bunch of issues -and entertains you while he's doing it. Almost every page contains the kind of information that should have put Bush in jail years ago." -Jane Stillwater, Novakeo.com
 
"ACLU members will be well familiar with the voluminous and incisive commentary of Walter Brasch, and will surely find it worthwhile to read this collection of his columns over the lamentable course of the Bush maladministration. Brasch was among the first too offer a systematic critique of the USA PATRIOT Act passed by Congress under intense pressure in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.  He pointed out in detail the many ways that the Act undermines basic citizen rights and facilitates government spying on citizens and residents of the U.S.  He rejected the argument that the Act was needed to combat terrorism. If you need a little reinforcement, and a lot of information, this one's for you." -John Peeler, ACLU News
 
"If you are of a liberal frame of mind regarding George W. Bush, you will most certainly enjoy Sinking the Ship of State.  . . . He does so most eloquently. I am as conservative as Brasch is liberal, but even those of my political leanings have found much to criticize [about President Bush]." -Alan Caruba, BookViews (Pick-of-the-Month, July 2008)
 
"Humorously and incisively, [Brasch] chronicles the eight painful years of George Bush's presidency. . . .  A dose of Pepto-Bismol may serve the reader well as the seamy underbelly of presi- dential politics is exposed. From the lies and innuendos that won Bush the South Carolina primary -thus resurrecting a failing run for office (and in the process trashing the reputation of John McCain) -to the corporate sponsorship of the GOP and Democratic conventions, the details are disturbing. The fun really begins after the election, when King George storms the Oval Office and begins to reinterpret the U.S. Constitution for a post 9/11 era. Using some tongue-in-cheek anecdotes, Brasch leads the reader on a journey of low expectations for an administration that uses the fear of al-Qaeda and terrorism rather than intelligence and common sense to govern. Along the way there are many casualties, including our educational system, FEMA, the U.S. worker, and habeas corpus. Nothing is safe from the Bush-Cheney juggernaut. Brasch, however, saves his most biting criticisms for the Patriot Act and the curtailment of so many of our civil liberties. As is pointed out early in the book, the Act violates no fewer than six constitutional amendments, and Benjamin Franklin is no doubt turning over in his grave. No one escapes culpability here, neither the U.S. public paranoid and on the lookout for turbaned interlopers, nor the mainstream media that seems to have forgotten that the Fourth Estate is supposed to be a government watchdog for the huddled masses. In the end, the enablers are taken to task to the same degree as the miscreants and we all share some of the blame. A well written and entertaining look into the reign of George W. Bush [and] very scary!" -Feathered Quill Book Review



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