Books I Read in December and Happy New Year

I won’t be doing much blogging for the next week (although I may poke my head on for a bit) and I doubt I’ll finish reading another novel within the next week so posting this now.  Also, I wanted to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!

In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd I’ve never read any Jean Shepherd before this.  I knew of him of course because of A Christmas Story (which is adapted from this book) but hadn’t read anything by him. And what a treat. He has an amazing conversational tone in this book. The movie takes a few stories from this and creates a wonderful narrative out of them (which isn’t what the book was actually doing) so some of the stories may be familiar but it’s not a direct translation. I have a few of his other books on my to read list.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris This book had been waiting for me for the past year or so to read but I wasn’t quite ready for a depressing book. And I was assuming that this book was going to be depressing. Very few books with Auschwitz in the title are going to be a lighthearted humorous romp. This book was no exception. I’m not a big fan of holocaust books at this point in my life. I feel like I have read enough now that they are more like looking at an accident as you pass by more than taking anything substantial in. This one was well written, you are sucked into the story of the protagonist, but not one I would fully recommend. It felt a little hollow to me at times. Or maybe I couldn’t get past the idea of looking at the accident as I drove by out of my head.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler I don’t understand why we aren’t reading more Octavia Butler at this point. Her books blow me away yet I haven’t really dived into her bibliography. I feel like the titles are offputting to me for some reason and I shy away. Parable of the Sower is one of those novels that I just didn’t realize what I was getting into. If I had read it 4 years ago, I would have thought of it as just a solid post-apocalyptic novel. But reading it in the days of Trump, where there is actually a leader in the book whose slogan is Make America Great Again, it comes off as a prophetic vision of things to come. (The book is set in 2024 in a decaying US).  If you have never read Octavia Butler before though, please, get yourself a copy of Kindred as soon as possible. And you’re welcome.

I’ll see everyone in 2020!  Be safe!

White House considers arguing that Trump wasn’t impeached

I mean, they never let reality really get in the way of anything before so, sure, why not?

The White House is thinking about making the argument that President Trump wasn’t impeached because Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has not sent articles of impeachment to the Senate, according to multiple reports.

The House this week voted to approve articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but Pelosi has not said when she would deliver them to the upper chamber.

A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, which first reported the news, that the White House legal theory is that the Senate would already have jurisdiction if Trump had been impeached. Proponents would reportedly point to a part of the constitution that gives the Senate “the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

Man Who Did Nothing to Stop Trump in the Senate Asks Senate to do Something to Stop Trump

Ugh. Jeff Flake. The thing that is so annoying about him is if he was still in the Senate, he would still be saying stuff like this, and then voting to acquit Trump in the impeachment as soon as he could. The GOP is the party of cowardice:

To my former Senate Republican colleagues, I don’t envy you. It might not be fair, but none of the successes, achievements and triumphs you’ve had in public office — whatever bills you’ve passed, hearings you’ve chaired, constituents you have had the privilege of helping — will matter more than your actions in the coming months.

President Trump is on trial. But in a very real sense, so are you. And so is the political party to which we belong. As we approach the time when you do your constitutional duty and weigh the evidence arrayed against the president, I urge you to remember who we are when we are at our best. And I ask you to remember yourself at your most idealistic.

Totally not Racist Iowa Homeowner Decorates Home Racist Symbols

Guy really enjoys war losers. I wonder which candidate whose name rhymes with Frump will he be voting for in 2020.

Des Moines, Iowa – A homeowner living next to an elementary school in Iowa is facing backlash for painting Confederate battle flags and swastikas on pallets around his property. The symbols are clearly visible from the school.

“It’s a free country,” William Stark said. “I’ll put it out there if I want to.”

He added that people shouldn’t construe the painted pallets as racist.

But Morris Elementary in Des Moines disagreed and released a statement denouncing Stark’s display. School officials say the students, who are about 60% nonwhite, see the symbols when arriving and leaving the school and even from the playground.

“They don’t know their history, evidently,” Stark said. “That’s the only reason I can think of that they can think anything bad about it—they don’t know their history.”