One of my favorite things about summer is cultivating a summer reading list. Regular readers may have noticed that I frequently ask people what books they’re looking forward to reading. One of the books on my list is “Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic” by Jay Cost. His book delves into Democrats phony history as the party of the little guy and their current state of “special interests and carve-outs.”
Cost begins “Spoiled Rotten” with the events that led to the Republican victories (thanks to tea party support) in 2010, namely ObamaCare. Cost writes, “The real problem with the health care reform efforts was the controversial manner by which it was passed. Rather than propose a bill to Congress, President Obama allowed the legislature to draft the bill basically from scratch, and the result was a political disaster.”
Bill Kristol, editor at The Weekly Standard, said of “Spoiled Rotten,” “James Madison would have appreciated this book. Barack Obama won’t.”
In addition to his new book, Cost is a columnist for The Weekly Standard, where he writes the popular “Morning Jay” column. As we get closer and closer to what will hopefully be a continuation of the 2010 conservative revolution, Cost’s book and columns are a must-read.
Each week the De Pasquale's Dozen asks political figures and free market-minded writers and entertainers to take a break from politics and talk about their pop culture obsessions.
1. If there was a television channel that only showed one movie over and over, what movie should it be?
2. What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?
From Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure:
Bill: [approaching Socrates] How's it going? I'm Bill, this is Ted. We're from the future.
Ted: [whispering to Bill] Now what?
Bill: I dunno. Philosophize with him!
Ted: [clears his throat, to Socrates] "All we are is dust in the wind," dude.
[Socrates gives them a blank stare]
Bill: [scoops up a pile of dust from the basin before them and lets it run out of his hand] Dust.
[he blows the remainder away]
Ted: [points at Socrates] Dude.
[Socrates gasps at the wisdom!]
3. In A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell is strapped in with his eyes propped open and forced to watch images until he was "cured." If you could give President Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Leader Harry Reid the "Clockwork Orange treatment," what movie would you make them watch?
I'd make them watch every episode of King of the Hill, so they'd learn that conservative Republicans are actually good people -- and not the radical crazies they make them out to be.
4. What pop culture souvenir do you own that people would be surprised to learn that you cherish?
I have a 5' x 5' poster of the album cover of "A Nod's As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse,” the classic album by the Faces. Pretty cool!
5. What's your current “guilty pleasure” non-news television show?
Frisky Dingo. This short-lived cartoon on Cartoon Network was easily the funniest thing I've ever seen.
6. Which movie, television or rock star would cause you to lose your ability to speak if you ever met?
7. What was the first rock concert you ever attended and where did you sit and who went with you?
I saw the Black Crowes with Jimmy Page, in the summer of 2000. It was a lucky thing, too, as the Crowes/Page tour was cut short because Page hurt his back. Went with my future wife and we had decent seats.
8. Tell me about your favorite teacher and how he or she influenced your life.
My third grade teacher, Mrs. Bird. She was a tough teacher, but I learned that if I studied, I could do well. Was really a life-altering year for me.
9. What one thing would you do as President "just because you could"?
I'd fire 90 percent of the White House staff to return the office to the vision that Thomas Jefferson had of it.
10. What books are on your summer reading list?
I want to read Robert Caro's latest entry in his LBJ biography.
11. What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you? Did you take it?
First thing that comes to mind: my dad warned me not to take advanced Latin in my first year of college. I ignored it, much to my chagrin.
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena.
During the 2004 campaign season, I was so disgusted with the way the media was covering the race, I started my own blog.