Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't

Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't Robert G. Kaiser
  • Title: Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't
  • Author: Robert G. Kaiser
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 195
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't Robert G. Kaiser Act of Congress How America s Essential Institution Works and How It Doesn t An eye opening account of how Congress today really works and doesn t that follows the dramatic journey of the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of The foundin
    An eye opening account of how Congress today really works and doesn t that follows the dramatic journey of the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of 2008.The founding fathers expected Congress to be the most important branch of government and gave it the most power When Congress is broken as its justifiably dismal approval ratings suggesAn eye opening account of how Congress today really works and doesn t that follows the dramatic journey of the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of 2008.The founding fathers expected Congress to be the most important branch of government and gave it the most power When Congress is broken as its justifiably dismal approval ratings suggest so is our democracy Here, Robert G Kaiser, whose long and distinguished career at The Washington Post has made him as keen and knowledgeable an observer of Congress as we have, takes us behind the sound bites to expose the protocols, players, and politics of the House and Senate revealing both the triumphs of the system and often its fundamental flaws Act of Congress tells the story of the Dodd Frank Act, named for the two men who made it possible Congressman Barney Frank, brilliant and sometimes abrasive, who mastered the details of financial reform, and Senator Chris Dodd, who worked patiently for months to fulfill his vision of a Senate that could still work on a bipartisan basis Both Frank and Dodd collaborated with Kaiser throughout their legislative efforts and allowed their staffs to share every step of the drafting and deal making that produced the 1,500 page law that transformed America s financial sector Kaiser explains how lobbying affects a bill or fails to We follow staff members influential than most senators and congressmen We see how Congress members protect their own turf, often without regard for what might best serve the country eager to court television cameras than legislate on complicated issues about which many of them remain ignorant Kaiser shows how ferocious partisanship regularly overwhelms all other considerations, though occasionally individual integrity prevails Act of Congress, as entertaining as it is enlightening, is an indispensable guide to a vital piece of our political system desperately in need of reform.
    • [MOBI] ¾ Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't | BY ↠ Robert G. Kaiser
      195 Robert G. Kaiser
    • thumbnail Title: [MOBI] ¾ Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't | BY ↠ Robert G. Kaiser
      Posted by:Robert G. Kaiser
      Published :2020-05-22T20:38:28+00:00

    About Robert G. Kaiser


    1. Robert G Kaiser is associate editor and senior correspondent of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1963 Kaiser began at The Washington Post as a summer intern while still a college student He has served as a special correspondent in London 1964 67 , a reporter on the city desk in Washington, D.C 1967 69 , foreign correspondent in Saigon 1969 70 and Moscow 1971 74 He returned to the national staff in Washington and worked as a reporter for seven years, covering labor, the U.S Senate, the 1980 presidential campaign and the first Ronald Reagan administration.In 1982 Kaiser became associate editor of The Washington Post and editor of Outlook , a Sunday section of commentary and opinion He also wrote a column for the section From 1985 to 1990 he was assistant managing editor for national news From 1990 to 1991 he was deputy managing editor, and from 1991 to 1998 served as the paper s managing editor He began his current assignment in September 1998.Kaiser s work has appeared in the New York Review of Books, Esquire, Foreign Affairs, and many other publications He has been a commentator on NPR s All Things Considered, and has appeared often on Meet the Press, the Today show and other television programs.In 2007, he wrote a series of articles there based on interviews of lobbyist Gerald Cassidy on the topic of lobbying in the United States.


    247 Comments


    1. After reading Robert Kaiser s poorly named Act of Cognress, I have learned two things 1 Objective journalism is deada fact I already knew but it was reiterated again for me here 2 America needs a reboot.I should note here that my review of this book is a review of the book and not about the legislation whose construction it presents.The subtitle of the book How America s Essential Institution Works, and How it Doesn t might suggest that this is a book about politics, specifically how Congress wo [...]

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    2. Here s the hilarious thing even after reading this 386 page book on the Dodd Frank law I still would not be able to give you a list of bullet points of what exactly is in the bill A ha ha HAHAHAHAHAHA I could tell you a couple of the main features But for a full list I would have to go read Actually the entry for the law has a warning label This article may be too technical for most readers to understand Please help improve this article to make it understandable to non experts, without removing [...]

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    3. Robert Kaiser was granted rare access to the action behind the scenes of the creation of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act Act of Congress is an enjoyable study of the enactment of that law, used as tool to explore how Congress works, and largely how it it doesn t work.Kaiser was already anassociate editor and senior correspondent with the Washington Post and had just finished a book on lobbying and money in Washington He proposed to Congressman Frank that Kaiser beco [...]

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    4. For a book about the passage of a bill through Congress, this was pretty good It also makes you miss Democratic control of both houses.

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    5. Often frustrating, but just as often fascinating The author of this book was embedded for almost a year with Rep Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd as they hammered out the famous or infamous Dodd Frank Act, 2300 pages, now accompanied by almost 10,000 pages and counting of regulations, that was supposed to cure the nation of the financial ills manifest in the 2008 crash and to re regulate the financial sector.The author, like almost every contemporary journalist covering Washington, cons [...]

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    6. This book is a single case study of how Congress functions following the creation through completion of the Dodd Frank Act I definitely recommend this book to people who are interested in the real life nuts and bolts of the legislative process.There are two reasons I think this book deserves immense praise First, it gives the reader a thorough and serious look into the mechanics of legislative creation The role of staffers is heavily emphasized and by the end it almost seems like the elected rep [...]

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    7. Act of Congress is a lot like The Guns of Navarone, without the bullets, and with Republicans and bankers as the Nazis.This book describes the intense battle to pass the Dodd Frank Act in both houses of Congress Robert G Kaiser, the author, makes it clear from the beginning that he is a supporter of government financial interventions such as Dodd Frank, and thinks that those who opposed them are ignorant Neanderthals Moreover, the book appears to be rich with Democratic inside sources primarily [...]

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    8. This book probably needs a new title I picked it up thinking it was a general narrative on how Congress operates, but it is actually about how the Dodd Frank Act on financial regulatory reform came to be passed into law It s definitely eye opening for anyone who is genuinely interested in how legislation is developed You ll see that it takes dozens, if not hundreds of people many hours and a lot of negotiating to put together the final draft of a bill If it weren t so distressing, it would be hu [...]

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    9. An engaging read on an incredibly complex law enacted by one of the most dysfunctional politicized entities in our Land the bicameral Houses of Congress.In many parts, it read like a novel driven by characters and intrigue while maintaining Kaiser s clear journalistic touch to provide background information in a digestible fashion While this book won t make anyone an expert in financial reform, it will expand one s understanding on the topic, as well as how a bill moves though Congress in fact n [...]

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    10. Incredibly fascinating and informative segments were on lobbying, the actual legwork required to pass major legislation in this day and age, the financial deregulation that led to the financial crisis and a few things I can t remember right now However, there were several segments of this book that were practically comatose Sometimes overwhelming amounts of dry detail about some really trivial things and or people I love learning about our legislative process, and I love the swing of regulatory [...]

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    11. Great look into the actual workings of Congress on a major piece of legislation I definitely learned some useful things as someone who occasionally needs to understand how legislation is made today At the same time, it was a difficult read not because the material was that hard, but because it wasn t that interesting and I found it hard to force myself to read it I finish the book feeling that I have only learned a little about the process for one piece of legislation Perhaps that was the goal, [...]

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    12. This book would have been a lot better if it were written three or four years ago Nothing new here, unfortunately, that I haven t read in three or four other books about the financial crisis already.

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    13. Not as much detail on the policy specifics as I had hoped, but a really interesting dive into the process through which Dodd Frank became law.

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    14. Congress is interesting But not as interesting as the author thinks it is.

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    15. I read this for a Graduate level Legislative Analysis Class It is a well organized book Admittedly it is one sided, but the access given to the author by the authors of the Dodd Frank Act paints a clear picture of the intricacies of legislating Having worked on Capitol Hill and covering financial services, I was able to picture the setting where the action happened If I had known about the book, I would have read it anyway Great book

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    16. Incredibly well researched book that uses the Dodd Frank law as a primer for readers who want a glimpse into the legislative process.

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    17. Act of Congress is a work that Americans have needed for a long time At the end, Robert Kaiser notes, The way this story unfolded did not follow a civics book model of how Congress should work Instead the plot line reflected the realities of the modern Congress I teach government and history, and for as long as I ve been a teacher, every government textbook has its own version of the necessarily convoluted diagram of How a Bill Becomes Law you know, the one you might mistake for the gameboard of [...]

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    18. I used Kaiser s book in an upper division, university course on Congress Using the challenge to craft financial reform legislation, Act of Congress is packed full with interesting and essential information on the legislative body, as well as interesting profiles of the people responsible for designing and debating important laws One of the challenges of teaching and learning about Congress is that it does not inspire people Kaiser rightly hits on some of the key themes of Congress fear of blame [...]

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    19. An insight into the process of passing a major piece of legislation, but at times as dense as the bill whose genesis it is describing.There are heroes and villains from both political parties in this book, although the Democrats generally come off better What is remarkable is the power of the staffers who work for the members of congress So few of the members understood the bill that their generally experienced staffers were the ones wring the bill and dictating their bosses policies As the boo [...]

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    20. I find this was a book that comes up short because it tells of a clinical story rather than offer insights which aren t obvious I will give Robert Kaiser credit for his attempt to present how congress does and does not work but his choice to go in depth on one bill really gives us the type of dull and uninspired coverage of Congress that is pervasive throughout the media I find it unsurprising that Kaiser is quite taken with the respective committee heads he deals with After all he is dealing w [...]

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    21. Eye opening look at Congress through the eyes of 50 year veteran Washington Post reporter Robert Kaiser Kaiser uses the 2010 Dodd Frank financial regulation bill as the vehicle for highlighting how our most essential democratic institution works, or as the subtitle implies, often doesn t due in part to pernicious partisanship, endless fundraising, vast special interests, and big money lobbyists Must read for those who wish to understand how things really get done in Washington today, and import [...]

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    22. A slog at times, but still a compelling look at how, as Kaiser s subtitle suggests, Congress works and doesn t work It s hard to think of a book that has shown the extent to which Washington, DC is governed by anonymous staffers who do the legwork in the legislative and executive branches It s possible that Kaiser is too partial to Dodd and Frank, who were his main sources on the process of drafting Dodd Frank, but I still think it s a a revealing look into Congress and b a honest account of how [...]

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    23. Very well written but the content was disturbing Congress no longer makes policybut spends all it s time dealing in politics Gone are the days when collaboration, bipartisanship and negotiation was openly displayed and used to create laws that helped the average person In it s place is partisan warfare where politicians rally against anything that smacks of administrative reform, even if it is sorely needed This book details the process through which Congress passed a financial reform bill after [...]

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    24. This was a great way to follow a piece of legislation, and begin to understand how a law is created and passed The author had nearly complete access to Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd as they recounted the passing of the Dodd Frank Wall Street regulation Law I recommend this The author is clearly in favor of the bill, and he does not paint Republicans very favorably On the whole, it is pretty balanced He does have some good points about the rank partisanship crippling government from both side [...]

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    25. Almost any book about the workings of congress is going to bring out the sausage analogy This one does, too, and it s well deserved It s hard to believe someone would be interested in this book unless they re part of the financial industry There s not much salacious in here We see a lot of personality quirks disorders that we knew guys like Frank and Shelby had But mostly we see hard working people, both elected and staff trying to either make or break a major piece of legislation Well reported. [...]

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    26. This is a very partisan look at how Congress operates and how it circumvents procedural rules It also looks at how deals are cut and pork added to bills using Frank Dodds on banking and Obama care as an example It is full of jargon and difficult for me to read with a degree in political science It does not appear to be for the average citizen I also question the texts of some of the conversations used in the book You ll get a better understanding from reading the Constitution and a high school g [...]

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    27. Writing is fine, though a bit boring Other people s comments are right on that this book is not what it purports to be about how Congress functions overall and is following a single major piece of legislation and it s related players So still a lot to cover, and better to go deeper with a specific thing, but not cool to make it sound like this book is offering a big picture of Congress when it s not necessarily doing so.

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    28. Excellent behind the scene s look at Congress warts and all and the real, methodical work that isn t captured in today s sound bite media of CNN or the noise machine of F x Kaiser isn t afraid to punch away at both the failings, triumphs, roundabout deals, and compromises of the congressional system and yet it contains hope even in this messy system This is journalism at its best Also, after reading, I m impressed by the legislative skills of Frank and Dodd.

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    29. Kaiser had an inside view of the process that led to Dodd Frank He tries to be balanced, but ultimately is fed up with the political orientation that has taken over the Republican party completely and the Democratic party less so We are left with respect for the work of Congressional staff and amazement that anything gets accomplished despite the myriad ways bills can get scuttled.

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