Bob Woodward’s “Fire” is more like smoke and fractured mirrors by Amanda S. Green

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Bob Woodward’s “Fire” is more like smoke and fractured mirrors by  Amanda S. Green

This has been a week. Between personal and professional demands on my time, not to mention the circus that’s been happening in D.C, finding a topic to blog about shouldn’t be difficult. The problem is that anything I chose would see my electronics be put in danger. The accusations against Judge Kavanaugh drive me up a wall. I’m tired of trial by innuendo and conviction by media. I’m sick of watching the DNC sending Beto O’Rourke around the country to build his image for future, nationwide office. The thought of him becoming my Senator scares me shitless. I could continue.

So, when Sarah pinged me this morning to ask where my blog post was, I almost told her there wouldn’t be one. I’d been dealing with a forest fire of the metaphorical kind since I woke. There isn’t enough coffee in the world to get me going this morning, and that includes the Death Wish coffee I’ve been guzzling for the last few hours.

However, I made a promise to her some months ago that I’d do a post a week for her. I’ve let her down a couple of times and she’s been gracious enough to let me change the day I blog on. So, I sat my butt down in my chair and tried to figure out what I could do that wouldn’t send my MacBook Air through the wall.

Mind you, what I decided to do might not accomplish that last. But it should be entertaining. At least I hope it will be for you. I have a feeling I’m going to be looking for booze, much much booze.

To prove I will take one for the team, this morning I downloaded the free sample for Fear: Trump in the White House. No, I won’t give Bob Woodward a dime of my money. Especially after reading the sample.

Okay, buckle up and here we go.

You know you’re in for a hit job—let’s call it what it really is, a hatchet job—when you see the title. But it gets better, for relative terms of better, when you open the book and you get to the epigraph.

“Real power is—I don’t even want to use the word—fear.”

Woodward attributes the quote to President Trump. Of course, being the “good” journalist he is, he doesn’t give the context for the quote. He only gives time and location. After all, it is soooo much better to start off showing what a power-hungry and, shall we go ahead and say it now, evil man Trump is. (yes, tongue is firmly planted in cheek as I type that.)

One thing about it, Woodward does set the tone for the book and he doesn’t disappoint—assuming that is the sort of book you want to read.

Next up is the “Author’s Personal Note”. The tenor begun with the title and the epigraph continues.

President Trump presents a particular hurdle because of the deep emotions and passions he brings out in supporters and critics. (Fear, Kindle location 45-46)

Wow, he’s written five books about four presidents: Nixon, Obama, Clinton and Bush. Yet it is only Trump he seems to think brings out “deep emotions and passions: in his supporters and critics. I guess he slept through the Obama administration, not to mention Bush’s. Or could it be he has something personal against Trump? Or is he, like so many journalists today, falling back to the age of “yellow journalism” seen in the battles between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer?

But let’s see what else he has to say.

Hmm, we might not get to much of the book with this preview. We have the “Author’s Personal Note”. Then we have his “Note to Readers”. Couldn’t these have been combined or is he padding the book? I know. He had a word count from the publisher that he failed to fill and this was the only way he could do it. Or maybe the publishers wanted to make sure there wasn’t much of a preview of the actual book available—could they be worried readers wouldn’t want to buy it if they saw what the book actually contained—and chose this way to pad the beginning? Oh well, those are questions we’ll never have answers to. So let’s see what good ole Bob has to say to his readers.

Ah, here we have Woodward’s own admission that this is a hatchet job on the President and his administration. He tries to dress it up but he fails. When you have an author, especially someone who is supposedly a well-respected investigative journalist, saying that the book is based on interviews conducted as “deep background”, you know it means he is going to play fast and loose. There will be no specific quotes and no specific context given. Here’s what Woodward himself writes:

This means that all the information could be used but I would not say who provided it. (Fear, Kindle location 59-60)

I don’t know about you, but that alone takes this book from non-fiction to fiction. It is also where I would be sending the book back to Amazon and asking for a refund. Which is why I didn’t buy it in the first place. I have no respect for a writer, especially a journalist, who writes this sort of bullshit and doesn’t have the balls to demand his sources go on the record. Hmmm, could Woodward be the one who wrote the Deep State memo to the Times? I doubt it but that anonymous memo is the same sort of hit job as this book appears to be. Trial by innuendo and conviction by media.

To which I call bullshit.

When I have attributed exact quotations, thoughts or conclusions to the participants, that information comes from the person, a colleague with direct knowledge, or from meeting notes, personal diaries, files and government or personal documents. (Fear, Kindle location 61-63)

I don’t know about you, but that statement says to me that he not only accepted but embraced gossip and innuendo more than he did direct knowledge of the situation inside the White House. Frankly, the one thing echoing in my mind—said in a perfect imitation of Governor Ann Richards—is, “Poor Bob, he’s still looking for his next Deep Throat but this isn’t it.”

OMG, we still don’t get to the meat of the book. Now we have a Prologue. Damn but I’m glad I didn’t pay good money for this.

I have to admit, he sets a pretty stage. He paints a scene that could have come out of National Treasure or any entertaining political thriller. It opens with Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic advisor, walking into the Oval Office and crossing to the Resolute Desk. There he sees a one-page letter drafted by Trump to the South Korean president. Cohn then reads the letter and decides he knows better than the President. So he steals the letter. He is, by innuendo, protecting us and the world from our president.

Did Cohn steal the letter or not? No one really knows except Cohn and possibly other members of the Administration. However, if you check the media, you would see no question about it. If you do a Google search, you have to go 7 pages deep before finding anything that might cast doubt on Woodward’s allegation. After all, they have to keep with the narrative, one Woodward is so happy to embrace and do all he can to push.

Does Woodward say Cohn told him about the incident? No. This is one of those “deep cover” interviews apparently. So we don’t know who he talked with. Oh but, Amanda, what about the copy of the letter that good ole Bob released to the media to support his allegations? Again, there is no proof, no attribution of where the letter came from—at least not to my knowledge.

Again, trial by innuendo, conviction by media.

“I stole it off his desk,” he later told an associate. “I wouldn’t let him see it. He’s never going to see that document. Got to protect the country.” (Fear, Kindle location 91-93)

Now we get a bit of a clearer picture. Some “associate”, and who knows who that might be and how far removed from the alleged event, told Woodward about this. Where is the fact-checking? Where is the accountability for the source or for the alleged facts? There is none and I doubt we will see much accountability in the rest of the book.

In the anarchy and disorder of the White House, and Trump’s mind, the president never noticed the missing letter. (Fear, Kindle location 93-94)

Holy hell, talk about bias.

We aren’t even into the meat of the book—hell, we aren’t even into the first frigging chapter of the book—and we get author intrusion so hard and fast it is jarring. We have one incident alleged to have happened but this is enough to prove “anarchy and disorder”. Better yet, Woodward reveals he is also apparently a mind reader. Wow. I guess he gained that power after Watergate. Otherwise, he would have revealed who Deep Throat was, maybe. Who knows what this yellow journalist would have done.

I give up. I’ve never before thrown in the towel on a book for ATH before getting to the first chapter. This is a first. There really isn’t enough booze in the world to get me to read all the Prologue, much less the rest of the book.

Woodward might have once been a good investigative journalist. Now? In my opinion, he’s a hack and I’m probably insulting hacks. This book appears to be nothing but a hit job, violating so many journalistic principles it makes my head spin. No, it makes my stomach turn. My great-grandfather who was a newspaper editor and my uncle after him who was a reporter would have publicly disowned Woodward for this piece of fiction.

Don’t waste your time or your money on this. Seriously, don’t. Unless you want to use it for kindling or target practice. All Fire is is confirmation the liberals are in control of most of mainstream publishing and are doing all they can to push their agenda of making sure there is a Blue Wave come the mid-term election. I won’t even talk about the fact this piece of crap (and I’m insulting crap) came out on 9/11. That is simply the ultimate insult to our country and to our intelligence.

Gawd, where’s the booze? I need booze.

*Get the woman some booze – SAH*

 

206 responses to “Bob Woodward’s “Fire” is more like smoke and fractured mirrors by Amanda S. Green

  1. BobtheRegisterredFool

    He was a hack and a patsy at Watergate, too.

    I believe Mattis’ denial of saying those specific words.

  2. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Also, there is apparently a tracking system for documents the president is supposed to sign. Which makes sense, given everything. a) presidential signatures are important b) the president signs a lot of stuff c) the president moves around a lot. Without such a system, things are certain to get lost, and forgeries would have more credibility.

    Which apparently means that Fire is provably false, in a way that a honest writer would have discovered.

    • I didn’t know that, but I would’ve been very surprised two learn otherwise.

      • Goes way back. All of the major figures of WWII did it, and it wasn’t new even then.

        Every minute of the President’s time is accounted for. There’d be an entry for “write letter to S.K. Prez”, and then someone on his staff would follow up for fact-checking, phrasing, and retyping if needed, and then it would go back for his approval. Same thing would have happened with any of his several businesses. After forty of fifty years, it’s just the way you do business.

        Now, if there *was* a letter it would have been incredibly stupid to have stolen it. That’s a message to a foreign chief of state; it would be classified information by default.

        I almost wish the story were true; that kind of idiot would likely have kept it for a souvenir, to establish his cred after The Revolution. In court, we call that “evidence…”

    • For that matter, I can’t help but wonder: if Trump is really about to send a letter to another leader, and it’s suddenly missing from his desk, what’s to keep Trump from thinking “Huh, I must have forgotten to print that letter”, going to his laptop, and hitting the “Print” button?

      And how would anyone who took the original letter to know that this isn’t what happened?

      I find this “we saved the world by taking a letter off the desk” thing to be somewhat improbable, to say the least.

      • Somebody was putting out crap that Trump didn’t use computers and/or was too stooopid to know how to use them. Hard to square that with the photos showing an open laptop at his side….

        OTOH, it doesn’t always hurt when your enemies don’t comprehend your capabilities.

      • Yeah, that’s where I was already calling BS. Who today is so dumb they wouldn’t just print another copy? Even if the boss doesn’t use computers, his secretary does. I think it’s more like Cohen (or someone attributing it to Cohen) saw the letter in an unguarded moment and absconded with it, thinking they’d scored a media coup, and were subsequently stymied by a Top Secret marking or other obvious attached jailbait.

  3. Is this the same book that Mattis responded to with words like “fiction” and measured phrases that make anyone with any military time cringe?

  4. I hope your day goes better as it goes. 🙂 This is me this morning…

    Coworker: How are you today?

    Me: I just tried to lock my office door with my car fob. It took three tries before I realized why it wasn’t beeping.

    • Reminds me of the night when I couldn’t remember if I was supposed to open the bathroom door before or after I walked through it. I made the right choice, but it definitely was a choice.

    • I did a “sleep study” at the local hospital. They gave me a drug called Ambien to help me sleep.

      I woke up the next morning, got out to the parking lot, and had a really hard time getting the car door unlocked. No problem driving home that I remembes (possibly a Mr. Magoo trail, though…) and then fumbled with the front door of the house for a while before just walking into it with my face.

      Yes, it took that long for me to realize I was *seriously* messed up.

      The crazy thing was, I felt rested, sharp, and alert. I have no idea how I appeared to anyone else, my wife wasn’t paying any attention as she charged off to work. Maybe I was only drooling a little bit.

      • Nothing I’ve heard about Ambien is good.
        😦

        • I did a sleep study last month too – they didn’t want us to take anything, lest it gum up the works. Everything should be as we usually do, going to bed. Except for sleeping in the heavily-monitored lab bedroom, of course.
          (And it turns out that I have mild sleep apnea. And I wonder if this is now the medical diagnosis of choice…)

          • “medical diagnosis of choice”

            Wondering too. OTOH per the fitbit sleep tracking, my sleep stats (that it tracks) shows an improvement. Same amount of time spent awake, but percentage has dropped in half; hey between the night sweats, bathroom breaks, cat support, dog waking me to check on me, time awake isn’t going to go down that much. Rem sleep has quadrupled, deep sleep doubled.

          • Donald Campbell

            I had a sleep study: “A “talker”, we haven’t had one of those in a month.” When I asked, she said I only dropped the “F-bomb” twice. I scored sleep apnea free but entertaining.

          • On the (side) issue of sleep apnea Celia I think that you may be right. With modern hardware the apnea part is easy to detect, and doctors can send home little machines (essential brilliant cpaps) to detect that portion, so it is diagnosed more. But apnea that impedes health (blocks REM sleep, lasts long enough to send blood pressure soaring) are harder to spot and take the in clinic/hspital observation. As someone who’s been treated for apnea for 15+ years it is a godsend though. I had/have moderate apnea. I would get sudden needs to sleep, and with a longish (45 minute) commute that meant I would get off the highway into parking lots or rest areas and have to nap as I could feel myself drifting off to sleep. That was terrifying in highway traffic. I do not really enjoy sleeping with the CPAP, but I no longer need the little naps, my BP and weight have improved. I think this is one of the subtle killers as living with it is possible, but while you do you put heavy strain on particularly heart. It can drive folks into various forms of heart failure early in life (late 50’s early ’60s) that might normally hold off to 80 or 90 plus. And the failure mode is incredibly expensive so preventative treatment makes a lot of sense from the health provider’s view, a $850 machine for 5 years, or major surgery and confinement in a hospital for a couple weeks in the low $100,000 range. Trust me on that figure, my mom clearly had apnea given the signs and ultimately spent several weeks in intensive care for like $130K in 1994.

            • I’m pushing 20 years on CPAP, and if there’s a power outage, I can’t sleep until I set up the backup power. Untreated, it can do a world of hurt; apparently my AFIB is due to apnea, which was probably bad for several years before a sleep study. I was waking roughly every minute.

              My machine records the data on a data card, and I use free software (SleepyHead) to track things. Obstructive apnea is no longer an issue, though I’ll get “clear airway” or Cheyne-Stokes episodes. These are frequently associated with cardiac issues, but my cardiologist says not mine. Doesn’t seem to hurt, and I haven’t found any non-cardiac issues researching it.

              There’s a surgical procedure that’s supposed to help obstructive apnea, but I’ve heard enough horror stories that I’d rather be a hosehead.

          • It seems to happen as people age, period. Which explains, if you remember from our youth, why “old people don’t sleep much”
            Because of mouth conformation and the ah, laxer membranes of aging, I’ll probably always need an apap, even though I’m now back to a weight I didn’t need it at.

            • I’m getting fitted for special locking retainers. I don’t have apnea per se, but my jaw slides open, 1) putting stress on my jaw joints, and 2) potentially partially blocking my airway. Everyone in the family including the cat snores, so it’s probably another fruit from the family tree.

              • One of our dogs doesn’t snore, but she’s the outlier in our family.

              • With The Spouse, while the snoring was awful, what was really disturbing was when it paused for a moment, along with the breathing. It was a relief to hear the snoring begin again. In the meantime I was getting less than adequate sleep as well — which did not make for the best of interactions between us.

                • That pause is the classic symptom of sleep apnea. $SPOUSE noticed it in me, and like the stubborn SOB I tend to be, I didn’t believe here. Until I recorded it. Then a visit to primary doctor, then the pulmonary specialist, then sleep studies.

                  It was a lot easier life once we both were getting uninturrupted sleep. I think the dogs were happier, too.

                  FWIW, my wife snores, but no apnea.

                • The snoring and stuff I could sleep through… the silence woke me the heck up. Sleep apnea by proxy. *sigh*

              • “special locking retainers”

                I have special upper & lower retainers that force my lower jaw forward, that in turn, prevents blocking my throat. But the metal arms have some movement.

            • Madam you have a point. They talk about two basic issues constriction (too much tissue) and muscle tone. The latter is just part of getting older to some degree. And many things that we now chase as health issues were 2nd and 3rd order issues 50 years ago. If you’re already totally decrepit from 40+ years of hard work in your late mid to late 50’s you usually have far worse issues. But I look at my (relatively crappy) health and remember my parents (and their peers) when they were my age and realize that I’m probably more like them in their ’40s. And what I know of grandparents even more so. In their 60’s and 70’s there were as frail as 80-90 year olds are today. It is encouraging

          • The Spouse has been through sleep studies more than once. Yes, sure they say they want it to be as you usually do.

            So they put you to bed at the wrong hour, on the wrong mattress with the wrong pillows, without the normal reading a bit until ready to turn off the light and having monitors glued to your body. (On the first occasion we still had a cat, so it was all of that and no comforting cat curled up against one’s side.)

            • At least mine was at home at my regular hours.

              • My at-home test (in 1998) was annoying; the technician (me) could have done a better job at getting the flinkin’ wires out of the way. I had the titration test at a regular center, and the tech brought everything to the crown of my head. I looked like a low budget Borg.

                OTOH, that was a good night’s sleep. It was probably the first I’d slept uninterrupted in several years.

            • “So they put you to bed at the wrong hour, on the wrong mattress with the wrong pillows, without the normal reading a bit until ready to turn off the light and having monitors glued to your body. (On the first occasion we still had a cat, so it was all of that and no comforting cat curled up against one’s side.)”

              Luckily my sleep study was at home. Without taking anything, my sleep was horrible. I got like 5 hours. Finally gave up when cat decided those dangling things on mom needed rearranging; & the 10 month old pup decided he needed help … besides that was her job. Not to mention pup had figured out how to get up on the bed & was very proud of herself, which she had to demonstrate over & over & over, again. Probably not the best study they’ve ever had.

              Sleep at a clinic? Yea, so not happening. I can sleep exactly two places: Home & Trailer. Usually. Any other bed, nope, not a chance. Not without “help”. Never have. Hasn’t gotten better with age.

              • You’re all describing hypothyroid symptoms (some notably for low T3 syndrome, like Suddenly Sleepy and apnea with afib; also the slack-jaw issue). Evaluate and normalize that first, *then* do the sleep study antics. “But it’s just age” you say? 80% of people over age 50 have some degree of hypothyroidism.

                • “hypothyroidism”

                  Based on the tests done 2 months before the sleep study was done, my TSH levels were fine. Do have a few of the symptoms, but always have. Don’t have most the symptoms however. But a lot of the symptoms are also mimicked by wonky Glucose levels. That I have.

                  My main problem with wonky Glucose levels is the inability to find out what they should be – under 100 when fasting, not a problem; under 140 two hours after eating, again not a problem. Here’s where it gets wonky. My high fasting is 70, it can go lower. Any range of 135 to 145, after eating, may cause, & anything over 145, will cause, a glucose crash. I’ve gone from 200 to 110, less than an hour after eating; 85 within another 30 to 45 minutes. It’s called Reactive Hypoglycemia. Information is sketchy at best. Only reported symptom I haven’t experienced is extreme lows, when sleeping. Been symptomatic, but testing #’s haven’t been below 60. I was diagnosed 30 years ago, with a full glucose test. Treatment – “Don’t eat refined sugar items on empty stomach.” Since I’ve retired, I decided that wasn’t good enough.

        • “Nothing I’ve heard about Ambien is good.”

          Heck just the over the counter PM options, with or without the Aleve, etc., is bad enough on the WTH in the morning; at least with me. If I really need 10 hours of sleep because sleep has been non-existent, despite using Melatonion, then I’ll take 1/2 a dose. Then double dose the Glaucoma eye drops.

          Probably should have taken the sleep med when I did the in home sleep study. Results might have been different. I really slept badly. OTOH I don’t snore anymore, per hubby. Definitely grid my teeth. Already broken the mouth appliance once, in less than 5 months.

      • I’ve been like that all week, because of the anesthesia hangover. I look like I’m fine, most things are fine, and then I do something utterly insane like forget to push the button to submit an article. Or put the sweet sauce on the chicken.

      • Ambien scares me. My cornea doctor prescribed a week’s worth along with Vicodin when he did my first cornea (diamond bur keratectomy, about as painful as it sounds). I used a couple of Vicodins (before I discovered that I could safely use Acetaminophen plus Ibuprofen as a damn-near as good substitute), but skipped the Ambien. I tossed the stuff in the doggie-poop can after the second cornea procedure. Local med-searchers leave that alone.

    • Your attempt to use your car fob to lock your office reminds me of a desire I have sometimes wanted: a key that I could use for everything. One reason why I realize that it’s a bad idea, though, is that if I wanted to lend my car to my brother, there may be good reasons why I wouldn’t want him to have access to my house, my office, my Church building, and my other car as well.

      Now that I think about it, though, being familiar with public key cryptography would make it possible to get my brother’s public key, and put it in my car so that he could use his fob for that car, and only that car; I could even put an expiration date on that key, so that my brother would only be able to use my car for a day.

      Of course, in order for *that* to work, we’d have to put cryptographic locks on everything….

      As for your absentminded attempt to open your office with your keyfob: just yesterday I was rather concerned that I couldn’t find my glasses anywhere. When I asked “has anyone seen my glasses?” out loud, my kids pointed out that I was holding my glasses in my left hand…

      • If looking for glasses always check your head

        • i knew an old farmer who complained to my uncle about having three pair of glasses and not being able to find a single pair.
          he was wearing one set over his eyes and the other two were pushed up onto his head.

      • “has anyone seen my glasses?”

        My biggest complaint about glasses, mugs, pens, etc., is they don’t heel like they are suppose to. Always been this way. Only different now that I’m north of 60, is before I could remember where I might have left them. Now, not so much.

        Worse, now that I’m home much of the time, & I don’t wear my glasses around the house, except to go outside on a sunny day. When my glasses are not where I expect them to be, I really have to think about what I was doing the last time I was wearing them. That gets challenging. Add the cat who likes to knock things off … Haven’t found them by stepping on them – yet.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          It’s “fun” to knock your glasses off of the bedside table when (like me) you need your glasses to see clearly. 😉

          • Imsolve that problem by always keeping the previous set in ONE place, so that when I deen glasses to find my glasses I can get an almost-as-good pair.

            This worked oddly when the previous pair was missing an earpiece.

  5. Maybe you could do a book review of St Augustine’s Confessions? I’ve been listening to the book on tape lately and its been bizarrely timely.

    Maybe people haven’t changed all that much?

    • People don’t change. Only technology does.

      • City of God is lots of fun! It’s huge, yes, but it’s full of interesting topics and information. A little bit of everything, presented by the ancient world’s most focused, yet most ADD, writer.

        I know I tend to recommend audiobooks for the ancient classics… but seriously, this is a book that works well in audio. Librivox has a free version that’s lively and fast, but there are also fine commercial ones.

        I was disappointed with the Great Courses class about it. I mean, yes, it covered the ground; but it wasn’t much for new news, and it’ wasn’t very passionate. I talked back to it a lot.

        Confessions is always a good read. But it took me a long time to realize that the “annoying” inbetween bits were actually the heart of the book. (Also that I should have been paying attention to the linguistics content, but that’s another story.)

        Really, though, there isn’t a bad Augustine book. I don’t love him as much as I love other Fathers and Doctors (like cranky Jerome!), but he’s still pretty loveable and fun.

        (And augustinus.it has all his works in one convenient package, if you want to read stuff in Latin.)

  6. “he not only accepted but embraced gossip and innuendo more than he did direct knowledge of the situation inside the White House.”

    I used to have Thomas Jefferson as my favorite Founding Father. You know why. The reason he is no longer is because I found out that part of his historical papers of record are a series of what might be called slander journals—every potential bit of ammunition, provable or non*, that could be used against political opponents. It’s a reaction of disgust I can’t get over.

    He still has a lot of admiration for his philosophical writings, as well as some of the ideals he failed to live up to himself, but he’s no longer on my list of “people past and present that I’d like to meet.”

    *And some of the stuff was outright tinfoil hat stuff. Along the lines of that “John Adams is a philandering hermaphrodite” nonsense that went around when Adams was up for re-election.

    • History tends to sanitize the past a bit but apparently the level of political discourse has always been below the gutter.

      (Which makes the 1st Amendment and freedom of the press interesting, since the “press” was passing that stuff around, and the pamphleteers and who all. So it’s not as though any of the founders would have considered the press lofty or trustworthy.)

      It does mean that we’re brought up with some idea that political discourse (or religious or whatever) ought to be lofty or at least cultured.

      • There’s really nothing new under the sun. There’s political capital to be made by slander and innuendo. Doesn’t matter whether it’s voters in a democratic system, nobles at Versailles, or Cardinals at the Vatican.

    • Hermaphrodite? wtf? Did he what we today call bisexuality?

  7. I’m very disappointed with Bob Woodward.

    • He’s the same as he was 45 years ago.

      • It’s amazing what someone can unlearn in 45 years.

        At this rate, I’m about to say we need to put the mercury back into the thermometers and the lead back into the paint. I know it’s not right, but day-yamn. And night-yamn. And twilight-yamn for good measure.

  8. I know it’s NOT the same, but one the Biochemist’s Songbook tunes has “beta” pronounced “beto” (bee-tow) and I cannot think of ‘Beto’ as anything other than ‘beta’ after that. Although admittedly I prefer he be rather farther down the list.

  9. Nixon, Obama, Clinton and Bush. […] Trump

    So he skipped over Ford (Alright, that might be understandable), Carter, Reagan, and another Bush. Ok, skipping one Bush isn’t out of line, I suppose. But both Carter AND Reagan? Yeah, yeah, it matters what interests a writer has and perhaps neither was of sufficient interest to him… or other covered those enough to be considered nothing that would get published and bills paid. I suppose if you consider Presidents since, oh, 1950, you simply can’t bypass Nixon no matter what one might think of him.

    • It looks like he started with Clinton, and has done a book on each president since then. The Nixon book would have been tied to Watergate and Deep Throat.

    • Gerald Ford didn’t *do* much as President.

      Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that’s not a bad thing at all.

      • Indeed, that’s one of the best things about Calvin Coolidge. And the nice thing about Coolidge, is that he did it on purpose.

        Coolidge *did* let Herbert Hoover “fix” the economy for farmers in the 1920 crash, which plunged farmers into a decade-long depression. When Hoover was President in 1929, he got to repeat his experiment for the entire nation, and when he lost the election, FDR was more than happy to pick up where Hoover left off.

        Sigh. Too bad we don’t learn from these things….

      • Timothy E. Harris

        Well, the Helsinki Accords turned out to be pretty important.
        And his 66 vetoes (10 of which were overridden by the heavily Dem Congress) helped things continue to improve during his term. Of course until Carter had been in for a year nobody appeared to notice how good the Ford years had been.
        Ford was my first Presidential vote. I had college friends from Georgia who were familiar with his Governorship…

      • “The $PRESIDENT is spending all his time golfing!”

        I am not a fan of golf, as player or spectator. However, I think it a grand idea for politicians to play golf (or tennis, or go for trail rides, or… ) as it hopefully means that they are not getting up to real mischief.

      • Yeah, been saying since… well, about the time he left office …that Ford was a *good* President — because he didn’t break anything, didn’t do anything especially stupid, and didn’t leave a mess behind. Sometimes less is more.

  10. Cohn needs to be called to the floor, publicly, by the president.

    “Did you remove a letter from my desk?”

    “Well I…”

    “Yes or no”

    Two endings:

    1:

    “Yes”

    “YOU’RE FIRED. Expect a call from the FBI regarding your theft of government documents”

    2:

    “No.

    “Did you tell someone you did?”

    “Yes.”

    “Then you’re a liar and YOU’RE FIRED.”

    No? 😛

  11. Granted, Machiavelli said that if you must choose between being feared and being loved, feared (but not hated) works better, but really, Bob. Power does not equal fear. Power is a lot more complicated.

    • Power is a wonderful tool… and a dreadful responsibility.

      As you know, sometimes the best touch of the controls is a light one indeed.

    • Not to mention the fact that, modern literary “critics/professors” notwithstanding, it’s always been my understanding that The Prince was intended as a very in-depth piece of sarcasm–as in “This is how NOT to effectively lead your people.”

      Only like Atlantis (as in, Plato said, straight up, that he’d made Atlantis the heck up), people are determined to take it literally.

      (I could be wrong about The Prince, but frankly, it jives with what else I’ve read about Machiavelli.)

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I think that the satirical model is fundamentally wrong. You should read The Prince after becoming very familiar with Kratman. If you can comprehend Kratman decently, you are familiar with subtly, points that take thought to digest, and horrible situations with difficult trade offs. I think satire is the conclusion reached by reading it with the stupidity, ignorance, and analytical weakness of a literature professor. Was it the form of government he preferred to deal with personally? No. Government is not a problem space filled only with nice problems, and the problems of the autocrat had a lot of relevance. Yes, there are situations where you can leave the work to servants whose original training is due to your antecedents. You don’t write a college science or engineering text book that only prepares someone to deal with the easy problems, and leaves them unprepared for any real challenge.

        • It is my understanding that the sarcasm claim is backed up by reading other works by Machiavelli, which contradict everything he said in “the Prince”. I wouldn’t know, personally, because I have read neither the Prince, nor Machiavelli’s other works.

          Having said that, if this is true, it’s a classic example of something that may have been written as a warning, but politicians adopt as a user’s manual, along with such classics as “1984”, “Brave New World”, “Atlas Shrugged”, “Return of the Native”, “Alongside Night”, and “Hunger Games”.

          Seriously, we need to stop writing dystopias! All they do is give politicians ideas!

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I’d want the level of trust in someone’s honesty and judgement that I have in Kratman before accepting their conclusions about how The Prince contradicted his other writings.

            • While I trust Kratman, the *proper* thing for me to do (and I have no idea how I’ll find the time to do it) is to read Machiavelli’s works, in the order that he wrote them, so that I could see for myself, one way or the other.

          • Lost somewhere in my truck I have a moderately old modern copy (1960s paperback) with a scholarly forward that explains how Machiavelli basically wrote The Prince on commission — so there was a certain amount of telling the person who commissioned it what they wanted to hear with regard to the particular political situation to which it pertained. This might explain why it differs greatly from his other works. And the body of the work reads like a literal document, no Jonathan Swift to it at all. The tone is explanatory rather than admonitory.

            We can’t know for sure what was in his mind when he wrote it. But he was… astute.

      • Even if it was written as satire, that’s not how people took it and applied it. So I teach it as a way to look into a Renaissance mind, and point out the lack of Biblical material as compared to Classical, et cetera. Historical document study vs. lit crit vs. poli-sci.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Hey! Oh, wait, there’s another Bob involved. I consider “let them hate, so long as they fear” part of my cultural heritage, even if it isn’t something I personally cultivate.

    • In fairness to Mr. Woodward, that’s what he claims Trump thinks of power as, not what he himself thinks it is.
      As a side note regarding the Prince as serious or satire, I think it’s both. In other words, if you want to be a successful autocrat, take my advice, but in case you didn’t notice, being a successful autocrat also makes you a terrible human being.

  12. “Real power is—I don’t even want to use the word—fear.”
    Bob Woodward has degenerated into a lazy assed SOB. Getting anecdotal and unverifiable dirt on Trump is like sweeping the sidewalks here to collect doggie doo. One swoop and the bag’s full already. Why not an expose’ on Hillary by Woodward? Oh. HRC KNOWS that real power is fear. And she LOVES to use it. Which, of course, puts Woodward, like most MSM journalists, firmly under her control. Ol’ Hill got a lot of mileage out of Vince Foster.

    Pardon me, but isn’t quoting without attribution still considered to be either plagarism, or deception? I can recall a couple of papers I did as a high schooler being severely red marked and down graded for such a sin. Not to mention one in a college English course because I was too tired to proofread it the night before.

    • My take is, this as supposed to be the book where legendary uberjournaist Bob Woodward blew the top off of the Great Russia Conspiracy with his hard hitting investigative journalist Watergate style, where as we know from legend and folklore, he personally confronted Richard Nixon in a basement garage and forced him to resign at pen-point.

      Except he couldn’t find a conspiracy between the Russians and the Trump Campaign, as none ever happened.

      Now he could not very well wander off his reservation and investigate and document the actual conspiracy stretching from the Clinton campaign through various cutouts and supposed-former-foreign-spies* to operatives directly linked to Russian Intelligence.

      So instead Woodward wrote this “Dumpster Fire” novel – hey, they already gave him the advance and locked in the publication slot for before the November midterms, and something had to go there. Those front tables at the three remaining Barnes and Noble stores weren’t going to fill themselves.

      * So I keep hearing from everyone that this Steele fellow, who put together The Trump Dossier while being paid by the law-firm cutouts, is a “former British MI6 officer” – i.e. a “retired British spy”. Says who? Does MI6 have a phone service where you can call in and confirm the employment status of their employees? What if that’s his NOC cover, and he is still actively employed by MI6? What if the British Government, who have made very, very clear their disdain for this uncouth Trump fellow, were running an op on the US using Steele to gather peepee documentation from the Russians and deliver it gift wrapped to first the campaign of the person they wanted to win, and subsequently the credulous/brown-nosing upper echelons (or alternately, coup plotting sub-component) of the FBI?

      Impossible, you say. They are an ally!

      But Occam’s Razor here: If that were actually what happened, how would it have been different?

      • Apparently, it is a common practice for the various intelligence communities to get around those pesky laws and Constitutional rights that prevent them from spying on their OWN citizens by outsourcing it to foreign allies and then using their take.

  13. Ouch. Heads up to hostess and other WP users. ZD article came in today with some bad news regarding a WordPress hack. https://www.zdnet.com/article/thousands-of-wordpress-sites-backdoored-with-malicious-code/?ftag=TRE-03-10aaa6b&bhid=20914694282886865331472592809591

    In particular, “Researchers believe intruders are gaining access to these sites not by exploiting flaws in the WordPress CMS itself, but vulnerabilities in outdated themes and plugins.”

    • Sometimes ox protected by ox being simple beast.

    • I’ve seen a similar warning for JavaScript — because people install all sorts of modules that depend on all sorts of modules that depends on all sorts of modules. At some point, the question arises “do you have any idea of what’s in your source code?”

      In this case, though this was just a warning — it didn’t actually implement, or uncover, such an attack. It’s one of the dangers of complexity, and of depending on things that other people created.

      • I took over software that was like that. And the interdependence was on purpose. Could not compile the objects without compiling the main program that depended on the objects. Every time a connection changed between them, you compiled the main program, knowing it was going to fail, compile the dependent libraries, then recompile the main program, then everything would work. Then the entire system had to be upgraded to a newer version of the tool being used, newer tool wouldn’t support the co-dependency. Got to gleefully dismantle to co-dependency. That of coarse didn’t count the dependency on the tool libraries.

        • Behavior like that would trigger my desire for the infamous back-alley design review.

          • Oh. It got worse. It had the codependency compile problem. Then there were the C libraries that the generated code relied on. The original contractor could be called for a fee. I was free to consult when stumped. Gave up on that option. The answer was always “Found that concept on the web. Copied it & made it work.” grrrrrrrr Yes. I can see where a baseball bat ally code review might have been called for. But maybe not … it was fun getting it all straightened out so by the time of the last two releases I had the software ready to support the target hardware in weeks rather than months, well before the hardware was ready to beta test.

            Then there were the “conversations” on whether the problem was the software code the tool generated or the hardware/OS causing the problem … but that is a different discussion.

            • I got something like that when I went to install Libre Office on the ancient shop/barn computer. Foolishly did a full update on the other packages, and now my calendar program broke. It wasn’t updated, but part of the program doesn’t know how to use sound files any more. (It works fine in test mode, but not when I’m actually using it.) $SPOUSE isn’t willing to come and remind me to knock off for dinner. I don’t blame her; it’s a long walk.

              The stack of installation CDs are waiting for the round tuit. It really shouldn’t matter if other parts aren’t up to date. I don’t even have a phone in the shop, much less internet access. We’ll see if the Office and Java kit did the dirty deed, or if a bug showed up in the 32 bit updates. And of course, there’s no error log to help…

      • I love Perl. But the way people trust the CPAN library makes me cringe.

      • I’m not thrilled with JavaScript, but some sites are invisible without scripts. I’ll use NoScript to let scripts run in a more-or-less controlled fashion. Some sites (ATH, and until now WordPress) have scripts I’ve learned to trust, and those get permanent permissions, while most get temporary permissions.

        I use satellite internet, and scripts that force a lot of back-and-forth traffic really slow things down. I’ve also noticed that some scripts can have adverse effects on other tabs, so I’m pretty strict in what I allow.

        Pale Moon discourages NoScript because it was causing a lot of “my page doesn’t load” complaints, but with a bit of care, it works all right. I know there are other script blockers, but I’ve been using NS for a long time.

        • That, and some sites and forums where the style sheet and most of the images render, but all the text comes from some third-party “Content Delivery System.” Since the primary purpose of those seems to be to annoy me with advertising, I have most of the larger ones blocked in my hosts file. WTF would you want just the *text* to be hosted on a spam server?

          • I use Adblock Latitude in conjunction with the script blocker. With that combination, I can get the content with few (if any) ads showing up, even while allowing the *cdn sites to load content.

            A few sites look for the adblocker, and most of them will ask politely to turn it off. OTOH, Forbes refuses to show content with an adblocker, so I refuse to go there.

            Anything that requires Flash to show will remain unseen on my machines. It has too many security flaws for me to even get it anymore.

            • If a site asks me to turn off ad-blocker, I’ll close the request.

              Then scroll a little. If it still lets me use the site, then I turn it off and refresh the page.

              If they block me from reading it, I don’t use the website at all.

              Figure it’s rewarding good behavior….

              • Zerohedge is friendly that way. A couple of sites (low budget, high value software, like Pale Moon) politely asked so they could keep going. They’re also good at selecting advertisers, so I’m allowing them.

        • Or yet another reason why I still use SeaMonkey instead. Tho if you lie to Palemoon-current and tell it that NoScript is in fact a compatible extension, it will, per various reports, usually work anyway. (There’s a disable-compatibility-check setting in there somewhere. Disable that and see if NoScript works.)

          • I’m on the current 28.1.0 and just forced NoScript on at the addon page. No unusual problems, and it’s held through a couple updates.

          • Further info: at 28.0.0, it complained about NoScript, but it let me keep it, with a “disabled” setting. (I’d had it from previous editions of PM). I just had to go to the addons page and set it to enabled. Further updates of PM keep NoScript enabled. It works as well as it has in the past–you do have to tweak things a bit, but it’s worth it for me.

    • Sigh. I do need to change theme.

  14. It’s interesting to read the reviews on amazon about this book. My favorite so far is a 2-star review that claims that the book is “actually pro-Trump propaganda more than anything”.

    I think the reviews give a lot of insight where we are as a country– all the 5-star reviews I’ve read so far are all clearly from people who are of the #resist type, talking about how it confirms their worst fears and shows that Trump won’t serve out his full term (due to Mueller or the Nov election or whatever). The mask is definitely slipping off the crazy.

  15. In *context* that might work very well. And it also doesn’t necessarily mean that the person saying so desires that fear or that power, but takes it into account.

    I mean, one of the things that bugged me a whole lot about Obama was that he seemed oblivious to human dynamics. And maybe that’s because of viewing those things through value judgements instead of objectivity. Everyone was supposed to love us. They won’t! It’s not about making friends when we’re talking about nations. It’s about understanding the reality of the other guy, of that other nation, of what sorts of concerns a nation has which are far different than popularity or international warmth.

    For example, “W” allowed for the leadership dynamic of Afghanistan and Pakistan and the requirements of holding power there, which is essentially to be seen thumbing their nose at the US, no matter what is done behind the scenes. Obama decided to act tough instead of letting them act tough. I don’t know what that meant for the Mayor of Kabul but in Pakistan it probably led directly to political instability and the assassination of Bhutto.

    I honestly don’t give a flying you know what if Trump is vulgar and crude on Twitter. If he understands how humans function in the real world we’re all better off for it. If he understands what it *means* to have power over people, or to hold power, or where fear exists on either side of that dynamic, I’m VERY happy because it’s an incredible improvement.

    Consider North Korea (and the jury is still out) where it seems obvious that Trump knows how to apply pressure and also knows how to give the other person an “out” that takes them where we want them to go. Kim is a horrible person but he doesn’t want to DIE. So giving him a way to not-die is important. And along come the intellectual giants in the press who’s only concern (after *adoring* Kim’s monster sister) is to demand that Trump condemn him as a monster instead of offering a map on how to be a hero… a *living* hero.

    Yeah, if he said that power was fear, I’m not going to disagree.

    • Korea is.. interesting. Alas, I do NOT expected real peace… but I hope to be proven wrong and have an armistice end with genuine peace rather than a resumption of war. I’m not sure such has ever happened (Not say it never did, just am unaware if such did) so if it happened, it would be impressive. I do not (yet) think that is the way to bet… but D. Trump has surprised people over and over, and we don’t know when or if the hat will run out of rabbits.

  16. Christopher M. Chupik

    Anonymous sources say that Bob Woodward is actually a mandroid from Planet X.

  17. There, having finally finished reading the post (and nearly finished off the Jameson Black Barrel…) I can only say that the title is two words too short. It really should be used downrange (in physical book form) thus:

    Ready. Aim. Fire!

    I suspect the text is so atrocious it, as one much-loathed textbook was suspected of, “wouldn’t even burn decent” – and that with pages crumples/fluffed so it’s not a paper brick.*

    * I do not condone nor advocate the burning of books, save in emergencies when such things might be necessary for survival — however, stunningly bad fiction masquerading as reportage is NOT a book, but a travesty of a book. Woodward might well be a :journalist’ but he sure ain’t a reporter. Reporter – guy who learned with hard-ass editor who drilled it into him that sources had to be confirmed and twice over, “I don’t care if your own mother says she loves you! You get a confirming source!” I respect reporters. Journalists could kiss me under my tail… but I fear I might get some horrible disease.

    • Related, though OT, I’m writing this at the public library, where they’re putting up the displays for the observance of Banned Books Week next week.

      • I really hate those displays. A good portion of them are things like “a library chose not to carry those books” or “a school district didn’t like that book”. When you are teaching kids, or stocking a library, you have the right to decide what should and should not go in that library. Sometimes it’s a simple “we can’t afford that book, let’s get something else”, but no book has any “right” to be in a curriculum or a library.

        I remember one year they had precisely *one* example of a banned book: some guy got jailed for writing an indecent book. If someone isn’t fined or in jail over a book, it’s not really “banned”.

        On the other hand, these same librarians who are concerned about Americans protesting books in libraries and in schools, have absolutely no qualms over Fidel Castro jailing people for having a handful of books that he doesn’t like. These jailed people, apparently, aren’t “librarians”, despite their maintaining collections of books they share with others — and who have to do so secretly, because Castro isn’t going to employ *real* librarians.

        Sheesh!

        • I don’t remember the details but I think that Sarah had a story banned after publication involving the magazine that printed it collected by a government and destroyed.

          I won’t promise that I’m remembering that wrong.

          But that to me says “banned.”

          The library banned book thing bothers me the same way that it bothers you because most of the books were never actually banned. Someone complained, someone decided that they were age inappropriate, etc. But librarians do that all the time. It’s their JOB. And somehow it’s not “banning” when they do it.

          It makes more sense to include Milo’s book “Dangerous” in that display even though that wasn’t banned *either*. But I’m pretty sure they never would.

          • “Can you buy it?”
            Yes.
            “Will you be sent to prison for having or reading it?”
            No.
            “It’s not banned.”
            But, but, some crazy Christian parent objected to their brat reading it in school and the school board caved and it’s baaaannnned.
            “No it’s not. And I’ve called the whaaambulance for you.”

          • I suspect it’s going to be more of a second hand virtue signaling “pretend to be a rebel by reading a book that your great-grandmother’s teachers didn’t like!” kind of thing.
            Now, if they featured Solzhenitsyn, Orwell, Twain, Huxley… then they would really be brave and rebellious.

        • Hell, most of them probably support hate speech laws and deplatforming

    • Burning of books is clearly as much free speech as burning a flag.

  18. This means that all the information could be used but I would not say who provided it.

    So, a book full of “Someone said X”, all out of context and un-verified. It’s almost GOTTA all be TRUE, right?

  19. You got further than I’m willing to try, Amanda. After Mattis came out saying that what Woodward wrote about him was untrue, I figured I’d give a hard pass on it. Mattis seems a man of impeccable integrity. I can’t imagine him lying.

  20. Whatever Woodward writes it will be a smear.

  21. There’s an interesting aspect to this….apparently, in an interview, Woodward was asked if he saw any evidence of ‘collusion’ (and we all know what THAT means in this context). He said “No”.

    Think about that. Mortuary Bob Woodward, who has made a CAREER out of reporting sketchy ‘facts’ and unsupported innuendo say he saw no evidence of collusion. That means, not only did he not see any evidence, but he’s pretty sure that if he says he did he will be in BIG TROUBLE when the dust settles.

    Which in turn means he’s pretty sure that whatever nonsense the Democrats can come up with will last about 15 seconds before it is exposed.

  22. How much of a donation to get you to do a chapter-by-chapter review of the whole thing?

    • I don’t think there’s enough single malt in all of Scotland for that task.

    • Do you hate me? VBEG

      Seriously, to do this on a chapter by chapter basis, I’d have to have enough to buy a bottle of Angel’s Envy Finished Rye (750 ml) for every 3 – 4 chapters at minimum. The book really is that bad. I’ve teased before about wanting to drink in the morning after writing the posts. This is the first one to actually send me to the liquor cabinet to consider having a drink before breakfast.

      • No, don’t do that. I want you to live long enough to meet you in person. A stroke next week would be nonoptimal in that regard.

        • I don’t think that bribery with liquor and other forms of support is worth it for this book either. Liver transplants are not the way one should have to suffer for a book review!

          Though, aacid’s suggestion of read a page then burn a page may well be quite cathartic as an alternative.

      • Read a page burn a page. Remarkably therapeutic

      • So, more than $5?

        • LOL. Yeah. Sorry.

        • $25 per chapter and liver transplant

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            That’s too cheap. Someone might provide. I’d much rather she reviewed Calvin’s Institutes. Something that isn’t absolutely insane contemporary political writings between now and the next election.

            I’ve just made a list of ten fanfic, mostly ones I haven’t read or lost interest in, that would still be less offensive than Woodward’s ad. Okay, I think there are probably some badly written fics on the list, and almost certainly ones a lot of us have no interest in. And it isn’t really the thing for a professional writer to be reviewing fanfic.

            There’s an absurd amount of better and more improving books out there.

  23. He reminds me of Troy McLure from the Simpsons.

    • Once upon a time people recognized how uncivilized young ladies could be, particularly traveling in packs.  😉

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Uncivilized?

        Nobody was killed. 😈

      • Random thought…. a pack of girls is trouble.
        A pack of guys is trouble.
        A pack of girls with one guy is probably not trouble.
        A pack of guys with one girl is probably trouble.
        A pack of guys with roughly as many girls as guys is probably not trouble.

        Doesn’t outweigh indicators such as button-up shirts, incredibly geeky Ts, the guy being a soy-boy you have to look twice to make sure he’s a dude, dude being a pimp type, etc., just just an indicator when you’ve got absolutely nothing else to go for.

        And I was usually the one girl with a pack of guys. Didn’t slow them down from what they were doing in the least, but it was geekery not trouble.

        • A pack of girls with one guy is probably not trouble.

          As Our Esteemed Hostess describes it, and I have good reason to believe it having seen similar myself, this ain’t necessarily so. The Heathers of this world will torment outliers of either sex.

  24. Becomes? BECOMES???

    When Every Boy is Guilty, Every Girl Becomes A Monster
    By Sarah Hoyt
    I have a problem when I get angry. The problem is that I’ve long ago learned – particularly in dealing with traditional publishers – to get depressed instead of letting myself go berserk. Mostly because when you’re dealing with publishers they’re not near enough to vent your berserker on, so you just end up hurting yourself. (Whoever said stress is the feeling you get when you can’t strangle someone who righteously deserves it was right on the money.)

    Lately, I’ve been getting deeply, profoundly depressed, which is why I’ve been so silent. (Yes, post three on how to write short stories is on the way.)

    So many things are winding up, it’s not even worth listing them all. The most proximal one, though, is the accusation against Kavanaugh, which, even if true, would not be in any way actionable nor, barring this behavior persisting into adulthood, mean anything about his character as a grown up. High School has always been a weird and psychologically unstable part of anyone’s growing up years, partly because we’re all learning the ropes of what “adult” means, and partly because we’re isolated with other kids, also all learning the ropes. (It’s not the best system, no.)

    But this nonsense, which by the way, not only doesn’t rise to “credible” it’s barely past the level of “inane ramblings of crazy woman on the corner” are being given credibility and Senate is bending over backward to give that crazy woman the chance to ramble at them. Any way she wants to.

    Which is a symptom of deeper corruption.

    This morning I woke up to an article in my inbox about a student at a middle school in Colorado Springs who was arrested and suspended for “sexual harassment” about as credible as the one brought against Kavanaugh. And I want to throw up and hit people.

    Let me tell you about my experience with Colorado Springs area public schools while raising two boys:

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Hoyt’s column is obviously the words of hate filled misogynist extremist who wants all women to be raped to death in extermination camps, bearing child after child.

    • Ugh.

      Fully agreed on the problem created by age segregation and leaving the little darlings to re-invent the social wheel. It is an abrogation of the responsibility of adults.

      Both boys and girls have been known to use whatever form of manipulation that they can employ. So we see that some boys are aggressive in trying to get what they want and some girls lie to get what they want. To claim that all or none in either group behave in a specific manner would be to deny the nature of humans.

      • We also see that very human tendency to think “that person is bad, so we can be as evil as we want to them without being bad ourselves!”
        Which often leads to doing things as bad or worse than the person you think is “bad” has ever done.

    • There was a time where an accusation of sexual impropriety by a white female against a black male would lead to life imprisonment (at best) or torture followed by a lynching.
      The modern Democrats are working to bring that classic tradition of their party back. Only this time they wish to be colorblind and expand the category of targets to be lynched to include any and all men.

    • Sometimes they give monsters a bad name. It’s a terrible thing.

    • Stress: what the body experiences when the brain overrides its perfectly reasonable desire to choke the living shit out of some asshole who desperately deserves it.

      (As burned into my brain from an unknown source, many years ago.)

  25. The constant drumbeat of reports based on “anonymous sources” about chaos in the White House is no different than what they did to Reagan when he was POTUS. The simple fact is the more successful a Republican President is in pursuing an agenda that is actually a non-leftist agenda (such as cutting taxes, regulations, etc), the crazier the vitriol gets and the more ramped up the hysteria gets. They were all convinced Reagan was going to start WWIII. Instead, Reagan working with Thatcher and Pope John Paul II brought about the end of the Cold War (although given the subsequent handling of dealings with Russia and China we are pretty much now in the Cold War 2.0).

    The left to this day despises Reagan for having brought about the fall of the Soviet bloc. They hate Trump just as much or more, because he is actually trying to keep campaign promises about reducing regulation, cutting taxes, and undoing Obama’s effort to “fundamentally transform America”. The Democrats and their media hacks like Woodward have already proven that they are in “by any means necessary” mode in trying to stop anything which does not comport with leftist orthodoxy and they have no qualms about lying to achieve their goals.

  26. I glanced through the book at B&N when it came out. Save your liver, there are YA novels that are better written that this thing. And perhaps more truthful.

    I’m only wishing that Hunter S. Thompson wasn’t dead and was a few years younger, because I suspect he’d have a field day with this administration.

    Mostly along the lines of, “Yes, Trump is a bad president. The press tried to get someone WORSE elected, won’t admit to it, won’t take the blame, and keeps on doubling down. At some point, nobody is going to listen to you, and it will be all your fault.”

    • but he’s *not*

      • Whether you think Trump is a bad Pres or not, the “The press tried to get someone WORSE elected…” part is still true. It’s sad that so many on the Left is too blind to see, or unwilling to admit, just how horrible a candidate Hillary was.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Thompson was a drug addled partisan shill.

      • But, he never lied about it, never pretended he was anything else, and had no problems with calling out his own side for letting the cause down.

        There are worse role models…

      • But he was an entertaining shill.
        I suspect he would have “liked” Trump. HST always like the genuinely weird and those outside the normal party establishments.
        Reading his account of the 72 election, he was one of the few people who understood Wallace- he didn’t like him, but he groked that his appeal was more than just racism.

        • That’s one of the things that I liked about him. He might have been insane and drug-addled, but he was more than willing to go that extra mile to make the story right. Just his book about the Hell’s Angels alone is proof of this.

      • I was actually shocked when I heard the news of his death. I’d thought he’d died of an overdose aaaaages ago.

  27. If you look at a statement by Woodward concerning the Russian collusion and finding no evidence after two years, FEAR makes sense. He had a publishing deal to come out with a blockbuster expose on the Trump Campaign’s collusion with the Russians and could not find a thing worth putting in an article, let alone a book. So, he did the only thing he could to save his publishing advance, cobble together a book from speculation and innuendo using his two years of notes. He gets paid and the publisher gets a book. Neither apparently concerned about the truth. There is a saying in screenwriting; never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  28. I guess he slept through the Obama administration, not to mention Bush’s.

    We know where Woodward was during the Nixon administration.  The deep emotions, passions and paranoia that ran rampant during that time, and which he himself became involved in, enabled him to become a ‘star’ in his profession.  

    Since I have been of voting the question has not been if there were deep emotions and passions but how spectacular the show and who was fanning the flames most vigorously.  (Well maybe not so much with President GHW Bush.)

    • I figured his newspaper job was just a sideline, and his main employer was some spook agency.

      The only question would be whether they were American or Soviet…

      From the beginning of his career he got a free ride, well beyond even “journalistic integrity” levels, on printing sekrit sqrrl information, unsupported accusations, and use of :”unidentified informants.” And, wouldn’t you know, every bit of it aimed at destabilizing the government – he just changed his targets slightly when Democrats had the White house.

  29. Christopher M Chupik

    You could always try one of those leftie kid’s books, like the Hillary Clinton one Some Girls Are Born to Lead. 😀

  30. Haven’t really got anything to say, besides:

    I think the “find a book that is likely to be really, really bad, and get the free sample” looks like a really good format for a Friday blog.

    Could even branch out from the strictly political and basically muck-dive for pearls.

    Arguing against that, don’t want to be mean to what might be a beginner artist. Being nasty just to be nasty is bad— which would be a summary of most of the articles you’ve done so far, though especially this one. 😉

  31. Saw Peppermint tonite with Deb. Inspiring story of social justice as an upper class woman attempts to interfere with the careers of virtuous Dreamers to enhance her white privilege… or it’s a great fast-paced action film with a real 70’s feel to it, one plot twist I totally missed until they sprang it, and enough different guns to keep this crew calling out names all through the movie. Oh, and one point where I clapped without reservation.