I Blame the Sarahs! – A Review of the Opening of Hope Never Dies, an Obama/Biden fanfiction by Amanda S. Green



*And I blame RES.  I’m not gratuitously evil… much, but when he sent me a link to the book, saying he’d found it at Sam’s club, I was both bewildered and confused. What was this liberal wet dream of bullsh*t doing in a middle-America hub?  Then I started suspecting it was a really bad book, probably written by one of us under cover, to make money off the crazy – Amanda says nothing to dissuade me. The author might be under DEEP cover — his bio is a liberal wet dream — but I’d bet you under cover he is.  No one can be this bad by accident, particularly no one who has written more than one book. As for the people buying this, sucker, born every minute, etc. – SAH*

I Blame the Sarahs –  A Review of the Opening of Hope Never Dies, an Obama/Biden fanfiction by Amanda S. Green

Last week, I said I’d start a quick review series on The Coddling of the American Mind. That had been my plan until two days ago. By Wednesday, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do a post this week. Without going into too much detail, my 87-year-old mother underwent reverse shoulder replacement surgery. While she is doing remarkably well, it still means I am having to help her with every day activities right now like getting out of her chair, walking more than a few steps (the anesthesia did a real number on her), etc. Worse, I am now the one getting up at o’dark 30 because of the idiot dog. I was ready to beg off of a post this week when Sarah, the first Sarah, the evil but beautiful space princess Sarah, tagged me on Facebook all but daring me to snark Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery. I didn’t even look the book up. My immediate response was not only “No” or even “Hell, no” but “There’s no way unless someone bought me the book and supplied much much booze.”

I should have kept my mouth shut. Or at least left it a “no”. I really should have turned off FB notifications. But I didn’t and Sarah the Second, Sarah C., started posting single quotes from the first chapter—I assume it was the first chapter. OMG, I didn’t know whether to run and hide, drink heavily or snark—or do all of the above.

In the end, instead of taking the week off, I needed something to point and laugh at and this book seems to be it. No, I haven’t bought it. No, I have no intention of buying it. I am completely opposed of putting any more money into anything associated with Obama than we as a Nation already have. So, with fair warning that there is no redeeming value to this book that I’ve found so far beyond being totally snark-worthy, here we go.

And we will start, not with the book but with the product page. The first thing you see after the title, versions, etc., isn’t the blurb for the book but this:

The New York Times Best Seller

“[Hope Never Dies is] an escapist fantasy that will likely appeal to liberals pining for the previous administration, longing for the Obama-Biden team to emerge from political retirement as action heroes.”—Alexandra Alter, New York Times

Now take a moment to wrap your mind around that. Mind you, I know comic books have been trying for “diversity” and would probably love to have a socialist superhero in the mold of BHO, but what would Joe Biden’s superpower be? Able to grope from far distances? Grope and flee in the blink of an eye? The mind truly does boggle, doesn’t it?

But let’s continue.

Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama team up in this high-stakes thriller that combines a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes with the laugh-out-loud bromantic chemistry of Lethal Weapon’s Murtaugh and Riggs.

Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic.

Part noir thriller and part bromance, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs.

Oh, my.

Now remember, anything that happens after this is Sarah’s fault. She started this. She taunted me, challenged me to do this. Along with her cohort, Sarah C., they have forced me to read at least the free sample. I’ll warn you now, continue reading at your own peril.

From an editorial point of view, reading the first page (e-book edition) of a book subtitled “Obama/Biden fiction” and written in first-person, I should be able to figure out who the narrator is. All I know for certain is the author is trying really hard, too hard actually, to sound noir. We know the narrator is in a “black Irish mood”—and I won’t share my first thoughts on reading that. VBEG—and was apparently watching Youtube or its equivalent.

Then we get to this: “The camera panned down to the white-capped waves in the harbor. An impossibly long speedboat entered the frame, cutting through the surf like a buttered bullet.”

OMG. As someone on FB in the infamous thread that birthed this post commented, “Did Chuckie Wendig write this?” It reminds me of the opening scene of one of his Star Wars books where the ship (tie-fighter, X-wing?) weebled and wobbled. And now I’m going to have the theme song for “weebles wobble but they don’t fall down” in my head the rest of the day.

My second thought was that the narrator had to be Obama. He might have been Commander-in-Chief, but he never served in the military. I doubt he ever fired a gun. He might not see anything wrong with a “buttered bullet”. But, we’ll see.

Oh, wow, click for the next “page” and we finally find out, maybe, who the narrator is. At least we find out who it isn’t. You see, that boat isn’t alone in the shot. It is towing a parasailer behind it. “The camera zoomed in on the daredevil’s face, and I saw that my old friend Barack Obama was having the time of his life.”

Okay, so unless the author is really off on some sort of mind trip, we know the narrator isn’t Obama. Could Obama be the “friend” mentioned at the beginning of the chapter as having died? While my first reaction was to hope so, it would make for a short book since this is a bromance/mystery starring both Biden and Obama. Besides, remember, this is the fantasy Obama fans have been hoping for. So, unless they are going kill Obama off early and deify him and have him come back as a god to rule Earth, he doesn’t die off this early.

“Unencumbered by his dead-weight loser vice president, 44 was on the vacation to end all vacations.”

Well, I can agree with the author about the “dead-weight loser vice president”.

“Barack even had the gall to tell People magazine that we still went golfing together on occasion. To save face, I repeated the lie. The truth was, there hadn’t been any golf outings. No late-night texting. Not even a friendly poke on Facebook.”

Pardon me while I laugh. We know, probably, that the narrator is Biden but it still isn’t for sure. But, day-um, that last passage sounds like a pouting teen girl who wasn’t asked out on a second date. Still, that could be the former VP. He’s gotten the whine down pretty good over the years.

Without quoting, because I frankly don’t have the stomach for it, Biden’s sitting in his office and it’s getting dark. He glances outside and sees an orange pinprick of light. It doesn’t take him long to figure out it might just be a cigarette. So, talking to his dog, he goes to his safe where there are only two items: his Medal of Freedom and the Sig Saur he bought himself over his wife’s objections.

Now, here is where we go off into the land of make-believe again. He takes the gun out of the safe, tucks it under the waistband of his slacks and pulls his Polo shirt over it. Think about that for a moment. He doesn’t check to see if there’s a round chambered. He doesn’t even check to see if the magazine is in place or if there is ammo in it. Then there’s the whole putting it in his waistband and pulling his shirt over it. Not only is he risking the Sig falling down his pants unless that waist band is pretty damned tight but how in the hell is he supposed to get to the gun quickly if he’s pulled the shirt over it?

Well, no one has accused Biden in real life of being the sharpest tack.

Let me ask you this: if you are home at night with your wife and you suspect there might be a prowler—or worse—outside, do you go out without letting your wife know and suggesting she call 911? Well, our daunting narrator does just that. He calls out to “Jill”, who is in another room watching TV, that he’s going to walk the dog.

Oh, and where the HELL is the Secret Service detail? If he no longer has Secret Service protection, where’s his private security? Better yet, where is his common sense?

Of course, that assumes he ever had any.

It keeps getting better—or worse, depending on your point of view. The dog races outside but the motion detector light doesn’t come on. It’s burned out. The bulb is old and old bulbs are supposed to burn out. Yes, we actually get told that in the book.

Now, if this was a mystery and the narrator was female, I’d be saying she was too dumb to live. I’m screaming it right now at this noir wannabe. So far, the only thing separating this book from the slasher movies of the 1980’s is for our narrator to go running into the woods in high heels.

And we finally get the answer to where the Secret Service is. Our intrepid narrator comes upon a “vertically challenged man”. Then good ole Joe identifies him as Secret Service. Except then we’re told his detail had been dismissed several weeks before the opening of the book. So why is there a supposed Secret Service agent on-scene, much less flat out on the ground?

Instead of asking, instead of wanting to see ID, our narrator comments on how it’s a nice night for a walk and keeps walking. Worse, he walks in the direction the man he assumes is Secret Service indicates.

And there, deeper in the woods, he hears flint striking metal and instantly identifies it as a lighter. A moment later, he finds himself face-to-face with his good buddy (yes, I use that term loosely based on poor ole Joe’s whine earlier) BHO. An Obama who, even though they are in the trees/woods, is dressed in a “black hand-tailored suit” and his white shirt unbuttoned at the collar.

And, after telling us that Obama is never in a hurry, our author ends the first chapter and I no longer have to explain to my mother why I’m alternating between wanting to throw my laptop against the wall and laughing hysterically.

My eyes aren’t bleeding—yet. My blood pressure isn’t soaring. This is fiction, after all, and not the actual writings of either Obama or Biden. But damn, this book is bad. Worse, it is bad in that train wreck sort of way. You know you shouldn’t read more but you can’t help it. You have to see if it gets any worse.

All I know for certain is I want to know what the author was smoking, drinking, snorting, whatever, as he wrote it. I’m not sure if I want some of it or if I want to make sure to avoid it at all cost.

And, as much as I hate to admit it, this was exactly what I needed after this week. No, I’m still not going to buy it. So, if you guys want me to do more from the book, someone needs to loan it to me. Sorry, but that’s my price. VBG

Until later. Now to find the brain bleach so I can get back to my own writing and not have this novel infecting it.

(To cover Sarah and myself, all quotes not attributed to the product page on Amazon came from the first chapter of the book.)

(Help Amanda drink enough to keep snarking the left’s descent into madness.  We’ll collect for her liver transplant later. Hit her Pourboir jar now! – SAH)

194 thoughts on “I Blame the Sarahs! – A Review of the Opening of Hope Never Dies, an Obama/Biden fanfiction by Amanda S. Green

    1. This is apparently the kind of book he normally does. His author page on Amazon has links to “The Day of the Donald: Trump Trumps America” and “How to Survive a Sharknado”, among others. He supposedly teaches at the non-profit Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning..

      1. “He supposedly teaches at the non-profit Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning..”

        Now, THAT’S frightening.

    2. Hope the checks cleared …
      …a buttered bullet…?
      OK, seriously, is this a book-length submission for the Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing contest?

    1. Nope. At least not at that point. All he said was he got his Sig out of the safe and there was some digression about how Jill wanted to know why he wanted it when he had all those shotguns.

  1. Okay, I mean…I read fanfic. I even write it. And I know there’s a slash pairing of some kind out there for just about everything under the sun.


    I can’t even.

  2. *Does a double-take*
    Wait, this is a real book? I thought that Sarah had started some kind of a bad round-robin thing on Facebook!

    1. Nope, it is a real book. Now, I do think it ironic the name of the press that published it is “Quirk”. I guess it could be worse. I could be “Kink”. VBEG

      1. Yeah, that would be worse.

        Picturing Biden inbetween…Never mind, I won’t share that one.

    2. And, making it all the better, Quirk is apparently a part of Randy Penguin, er, Penguin Random House or whatever they are calling themselves now. I prefer Randy Penguin.

        1. FYI, Quirk is also responsible for “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and “William Shakespeare’s ‘The Star Wars.'”

        2. Not surprising, it sounds pretty fawning of Obama et al. Far Leftists who drank the Obama Koolaid probably don’t even see it as strange. (I had friends who though of Obama as a moderate…. I’ve seen this kind of delusion first hand).

            1. No, but they were shocked when I said that the Democrat party was sliding towards socialism. SHOCKED!!! They told me I had no idea what I was talking about. Hmmm… I wonder if I could get away with a “told ya!” on that one.

              These same people DID call Clinton (Slick Willie, not Felonia von Pantsuit) a fiscal conservative.

        1. What’s crazy is that some people will “take this book seriously”. 😈

        2. Some of us still giggle that the same publisher who insisted that gatekeepers were needed to fend off the “tsunami of swill” that was indie and small-press publishing…published Snookie’s autobiography.

    3. Have you ever heard the one about the Viking vampire angel?

      Once guilty of the deadly sin of gluttony, thousand-year-old Viking vampire angel Cnut Sigurdsson is now a lean, mean, vampire-devil fighting machine. His new side-job? No biggie: just ridding the world of a threat called ISIS while keeping the evil Lucipires (demon vampires) at bay. So when chef Andrea Stewart hires him to rescue her sister from a cult recruiting terrorists at a Montana dude ranch, vangel turns cowboy. Yeehaw!

      The too-tempting mortal insists on accompanying him, surprising Cnut with her bravery at every turn. But with terrorists stalking the ranch in demonoid form, Cnut teletransports Andrea and himself out of danger—accidentally into the tenth-century Norselands. Suddenly, they have to find their way back to the future to save her family and the world . . . and to satisfy their insatiable attraction.

      It’s the seventh in a series.

      I don’t dare think any book is not a real thing anymore. There’s too many counter-examples.

      1. See, I didn’t use to have to identify as mythical, it was simply understood. Nowadays… anyone who still use “nowadays” might be considered such. And if they know from semicolons…

      2. Hey, there’s a book out there about Amish Vampires. In Space. And according to the reviewer–who apparently read it expecting it to be complete WTF-ery, is actually halfway decent and also respectful to the Amish.

        (Apparently, it started out as a joke on things like the vampire viking angel sort of novel. And it still is, but whoever wrote it actually gave it 100% and tried to write an actual book. I’m tempted–a little bit–to give it a read.)

          1. Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard, lol…

            Although I keep getting stuck on the whole “But why would the Amish have agreed to get on a spaceship to colonize another planet in the FIRST place???” Because, y’know, spaceship.

            On the other hand, if that was actually a thing, it’s entirely possible even people who aren’t big on tech would be willing to be flexible on it, if it means settle a new planet, heh.

              1. I never interpreted them as being Amish/Mennonites. They always seemed kind of Mormon to me.

                1. While, they are somewhat like the Mormons, the Greysons started out as anti-technology.

              2. My cousin makes a living driving Amish to work, the stores and various appointments. They may not drive a car, but they are allowed to hire one.
                I don’t see why the same wouldn’t apply to a spaceship. They bought tickets, they’re not running the thing.

                1. I’m trying to square my understanding of the Ordnung with hailing an automobile. Does one have to use a rotary telephone, or is it a spark-gap transmitter and Morse code?

                  1. Slightly off topic, decades ago Fine Woodworking had an article on high-tech Amish woodworkers. For basic stuff (table saw, drill presses and such), they’d use either a diesel powered line shaft or hydraulic motors. For fancy stuff like automatic veneer bonders, they’d have the electronic sensors/actuators replaced with air flow fluidic type devices. The motors would have been swapped out already.

                    Apparently, if you don’t connect (physically) to The English infrastructure, the sky’s the limit on tech. (They cited generators and electric tools as considered barely acceptable for people starting out), The article long predated cell phones and the ‘net, so I have no idea if an iPhone would pass muster.

                    1. At least some of them here in MN use cellphones on occasion. Mostly by checking one out when needed from a fellow who keeps a number charged and ready for use.

                      I usually see a few Amish each week coming in to buy building supplies; they’re driven up by a couple locals with big pick ’em up trucks. That’s the men, I don’t know what their wives are getting, but canning supplies seem to be popular. Nice folk to deal with.

                    2. There are also “English” locals in Amish country that set up a building full of chest freezers that Amish families rent to keep their frozen food since they can’t have electricity in the home.

                  2. The telephones still are in booths. The thing being, if it’s outside the home, you’re not just going to pick it up and gossip, especially given that everyone will know if you do; you will make calls you need to make. Just as you can hire a car because you can’t do it on the spur of the moment, and storm out of the house.

                    In both cases, the reason for the ban was the sorts of changes it brought about.

            1. > But why would the Amish have agreed to get on a
              > spaceship to colonize another planet in the FIRST place???”

              Enough of them were convinced that there was some threat to earth that mean spreading the DNA over the universe was a “appropriate use of technology” and they went along because they were the last remaining group that understood how to use/fix/make stuff at the technology level the settlers would be *starting* at?

              I mean, I haven’t read the books but that seems like it might do the trick.

            2. Don’t the Amish do that whole “you can goof around and visit the rest of the world when you’re a teenager, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you want to stay in the religious community as an adult” thing?

              Have an Amish Community. Tell the teenagers “Go out, have fun, do whatever. But if you decide that you want to stay Amish, there’s a 50% chance that we’re shipping you off to the colony world before we fully induct you back into the religious community.”

              1. They practice adult baptism. Since that washes away sins, what you did before it is less important.

      3. Waitwaitwait, just reread that blurb.

        The deadly sin of GLUTTONY?? (Because of course pagan Vikings are held to that…) So…he’s a fat Viking vampire angel…?

        1. Well, he was a glutton. Now he’s a lean mean fighting machine, because female fantasies, at least to my understanding, rarely involve a beer gut.
          Also, since the leading lady is a chef, and given the blurb, I suspect there’s all kinds of bad wordplay about hunger and appetite and eating.

          1. Harrumph.

            Six-pack abs, all you have to do do is starve and do tons of sit-ups.

            If they stopped to think how much a proper beer gut *cost* to develop…

            1. Yeah, but a proper beer gut doesn’t require a lot of sweat and exhaustion; just multiple reps.

            2. I got your six-pack abs right here. I sit down, and a six-pack sits comfortably on my abs.

          2. … female fantasies, at least to my understanding, rarely involve a beer gut.

            Sorry to be the one to break this to you, but a little while back a report declared that one of the most popular search terms used by women seeking online -orn was “dad bod.”

            “If I were a girl and had to choose between a young, good-for-nothing with plenty of hair, and a solid, mature citizen l’d pick Mathias Popkin every time.”

            1. That’s because men chase youth and ability to bear children, while females pursue status and ability to provide for children.

              Must be something to do with religion, because Science insists that there’s no difference between sexes, and there’s absolutely no evolutionary explanation why there’d be this divergence between the sexes…

        2. Yeah, the whole series description just reads like “let’s throw everything together and see what happens!” But hey, if people like it, who am I to worry about it?

          I will point and laugh, though. That blurb is amazing.

          1. “The challenger bet that [Jim] Butcher could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and he countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion”, and “Pokémon”.”

            That was his “Codex Alera” series. I suffered through part of the first one before it went to the trade pile.

              1. It’s an excellent series, though it does start off a little slow. I had some difficulty getting into it, but then I had a bit of difficulty getting into “Aeronaut”s Windlass” too. Totally worth it though, in both cases.

            1. I read the first one, and found it okay, but it didn’t grab me like the Dresden Files. Though the Pokemon part *would* explain the bits of the book that I found so weird they turned me off the series…

            2. I read the first one, found it okay, but it didn’t grab me like the Dresden Files. However, the whole pokemon angle *would* explain those bits I found so weird it turned me off the series…

              (I missed the whole Pokemon fad. Both times.)

            3. I was pretty happy with the first, but some of the plot decisions of the last few did not work as well for me.

      4. I do remember that!

        I didn’t run out to buy it but I did think that it sounded incredibly funny and the world has far too many people taking themselves far too seriously anymore.

  3. …buttered bullet.

    No, wait, I actually *understand* that one. I can even name that tune in two words…
    Moly coating.

    As for *everything else* — there’s not enough molybdenum disulfide in all the world to keep this one from getting stuck in the barrel.
    But if we could only get the underwear-hatted, politician Flake-ing hordes onto reading stuff like this instead, maybe it has its role.

    1. Tallow or lard is typically used as a patch lube for some bullets but I suppose, in a pinch, one could use butter.

  4. Shrug. If the guy can make money off this, then good for him.

    If anything, I commend him for finding a way to make money off far-lefties. The profits have got to be all the more satisfying.

    Sort of reminds me of when I learned that BRAD PITT produced Eat Pray and Love. Think about it: Tyler Durden produced Eat Pray and Love…and remember that scene in Fight Club where he makes a fortune by selling women their own fat, stolen from lipo-suck clinics and made into scented soap? That’s what the Eat, Pray and Love movie was. And it made him a bundle!

    Makes me want to write a romance novel…

    1. If someone were writing Trump as the super-hero/super-sleuth and the other guys as the villains, i would be giggling. And I encourage anyone here to make something like that happen, under a suitable nom-de-plume, of course!

      My main beef is that it’s surreptitiously trad-published, filthy hypocrites.

      1. For it to ring true, Trump would have to act buffoonish and still come out on top, much like the Pink Panther, and leave the reader and characters wondering if he’s secretly a genius or incredibly lucky.

        1. Problem is, we are watching that play out in real life, so what would the author do to make it a parody or satire?

        2. … and leave the reader and characters wondering if he’s secretly a genius or incredibly lucky.

          Irresponsible President Trump?

          1. The irresponsible Captain Tylor had a certain air of innocence about him.
            Somehow I just can’t quite see Trump that way.

            The question remains, was Tylor secretly a genius or incredibly lucky? I suggest in this case where it is wise to embrace the power of both.

        3. Russian Character out of folk lore: Ivan Durachok. “Ivan the Fool” who always winds up on top because everyone knows he’s an idiot but how do they tell HIM that? So he gets away with just about everything. And so you wonder if he’s really that dumb or the smartest guy on the planet and doing it on purpose.

      2. I think writing Trump as a Mike Hammer-like character would probably work, assuming one could pull it off (a surprisingly difficult challenge, I gather.)

        There might be some money in writing Brett Kavanaugh as a Lord Peter-type …

  5. Schofield’s iron Law of Popular Culture; we remember the popular culture of eras past so fondly because, mercifully, we don’t actually remember all that much of it.

    The amount of absolute tripe that has been published in any goven year is enough to make you give up on literacy….untill you recall that most of this stuff sinks like a stone. Oh, it may have transient popularity, but next decade only a few dedicate masochists will remember it.

    A sputious second part of DON QUIXOTE was published by Alonso Fernandez de Avelleneda in 1614. Today nobody but History of Literature fanatics remembers it.

  6. I’m betting it was someone’s brilliant idea that got done as a contract book. The ghost writer wrote it on a lark and the publisher took it seriously. Much like the Colorado dog park ‘paper’…

    1. Even Kevin Drum at Mother Jones barfed on this one.

      “For myself, I just want to make one point about this affair. It’s by far the most important point:

      If an amateur with no background can spend three months brushing up on your field, and then immediately start cranking out papers that get accepted at serious, peer-reviewed journals, there is something badly wrong with your field.

      That’s it. That’s what the hoaxsters uncovered. All fields have at least a few weak journals. All fields can boast of plenty of lousy journal articles. All fields are embarrassed by occasional frauds. All fields suffer from ideological biases or conflicts of interest that interfere with good scholarship.

      But I can’t think of any serious field in which an amateur who’s done a few month’s reading could even produce a plausible parody, let alone a paper that would be taken seriously by dozens of editors and peer reviewers. If that’s all it takes, a PhD is a meaningless five-year waste of time.”

  7. Well, I’m not going to run out and buy it anymore than I ran out and bought the goofy Trump stories, but I am glad that some people can enjoy themselves and not take themselves too seriously.

    Marketing-wise, it’s probably a really good Christmas gag gift.

  8. “Buttered bullet”? Author gets a C for misdemeanor alliteracy.

    That this is published already blows my theory that this was a NaNoWriMo for November, since it’s only October; but then I suppose it could have been written for such last year.

    Lord knows we have enough jokers who would have a blast writing the worst modern comedy mystery parody they could just to hit 50K words. Come to think of it, the only requirement is to write a story that long, right? It doesn’t necessary have to make sense, or even be a good story, does it?

  9. What’s funny is that I saw this at the bookstore the other day and thought: “Maybe Amanda should read this next.” 😀

  10. Guess it’s just me. Didn’t find it the least bit funny. Overstuffed with Obama I suppose. Threw it into the trash figuratively.
    (Hope your Mom is better soon. All y’all have a good weekend.)

  11. Sig Sauer? He doesn’t need a Sig, he should have just gotten a double barreled shotgun.

  12. Where is the Secret Service during all this? Both of them and their families have 24/7/365.25 Secret Service details for at least 10 years after leaving their offices, and even if their details despised them, they would not let those 2 gallivant about like this.

    1. The SS agents would make funny straight men. Or like the parents in Ferris Bueler’s Day Off, where they put some pillows and wigs on a bed while they sneak out.

    2. My vague recollection is that Obama changed the Secret Service protection back to lifetime after the president (and presumably vice president) leaves office. But I might be misremembering.

    3. Let’s not forget that at least one SS supervisor formerly on the detail said PUBLICLY she wouldn’t take a bullet for Trump. What should give everyone nightmares is reflecting on how many more there are who just had the self-control not to SAY that.

      1. I had issues with the Service when 0bama was in office being so incompetent. I wanted 0bama very protected.
        Two reasons:
        1: he was the president and needed it.
        2: President Joe Biden should never, ever, be allowed to happen in any universe

  13. When this book first came out, some liberal friends gushed about how it is exactly what they needed and they do wish it was true. I’m not sure if they actually had read it at that point.

  14. This part of the blurb, “To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic.” defies belief that either of them but mainly BHO hisownself, would EVER go into biker bars or cheap motels, with or without his secret service detail, or that the denizens thereof would even talk to them.

    Real book? Well, physically. I’ve seen it at Costco.

      1. It’s also a NeverTrump obsession, used most notably as an excuse for killing off rural (white) communities by NROs Kevin Williamson.

        1. That particular comment was a matter of Williamson daring to apply the same standard to rural whites that said rural whites apply to urban blacks.

          1. I read the English language just fine. So do lots of us hicks. And being called raaaaacist by our so called betters is a big reason you got Trump.

    1. Sam, I am sure there are some biker bars that serve Arugula. Besides, Barack “I killed Bin Laden” is tuff, remember?

  15. Jonah Goldberg released a podcast this week, titled Snowflake Jacobins, where he interviews Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff. I just came across it today, have not listened to yet.

    Hope your mom starts to feel better soon, Mrs Green.

    1. Oh, yes.
      This, this, this and three bags full more of this.

      Having been pre-warned about her statement — I thought it was going to be a short press conference, not a full-up 45-minute speech on the Senate floor — I managed to catch it all with only a few minutes of cheap afternoon-sensation TV as prologue.
      And it was like watching the “new” Lindsay Graham *only more so*.

      The first half hour was mostly about actual judicial detail (gasp!), but given how she pre-refuted essentially *all* the “we’re afraid” up to “he’s the judicial Antichrist” stuff — calmly, point by point and tied up in a pretty red bow — it came across more like watching a wrecking ball. (Calculating that Kavanaugh agreed with *Merrick Garland* 93 to 96% of the time was just *inspired*.)

      To sum it up in a few words, with more feeling: don’t be afraid of Kavanaugh, be afraid, be very afraid of the NEXT guy / gal who might not be *nearly* so safe or cuddly.

      And most of the rest of her speech attacked the “dysfunctional circus” — *her* words on it — this confirmation process has become. If anyone has been wondering where the sane, rational discussion went, it went *here*. With bonus Senatorial Demeanor, and dark chocolate sprinkles on top.

      Episode VII — The Moderates Strike Back — continues….

      1. She mentioned that Ford was unaware of offers to fly to California to take her testimony officially and privately, and said that the treatment and manipulation of Ford for political benefit was “unconscionable”.

        1. I gather that the investigation into her lawyers violation of professional standards of conduct and of Monica McLean’s witness tampering is already ramping up.

      2. The Democrats insanely over the top conduct has guaranteed that if Trump has another appointment to the Supreme Court and has a Republican Senate, the nominee will be Amy Barrett, as he dares them to concoct the same kind of nonsense they manufactured against Kavanaugh.

      3. For those who have the 43’26” to burn, here’s the whole thing:

        Courtey the NY Sun, which had this to say:

        Susan Collins’ Game Changer
        It’s tempting to call Senator Susan Collins’ announcement of her intention to vote for Judge Kavanaugh a profile in courage — and it surely is that. In recent weeks she has been subjected to threats of violence and what she considers to be a bribery attempt by those who vowed to punish the decision she just announced with $2 million in donations to her campaign opponent.

        Yet what strikes us about Senator Collins’ magnificent moment is that it is about more than courage — it is a profile in substance. The Maine Republican is practically the only person in the Senate to approach this decision by reasoning out the substance of the constitutional questions that have the Democrats so panicked. She parsed the parchment’s preambular purpose of a more perfect union. …

        … “Certain fundamental legal principles about due process, the presumption of innocence, and fairness do bear on my thinking, and I cannot abandon them,” she confessed in what will become a famous sentence. Added she: “We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy.” She called the presumption of innocence particularly relevant “when an accusation departs from a nominee’s otherwise exemplary record.”

        The senator treated Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, with respect and care. She believes Ms. Blasey Ford was the victim of an assault. She gave, though, a devastating reprise of the lack of proof against Judge Kavanaugh. She said she was “alarmed and disturbed” by those who suggest that unless the judge is rejected, the Senate condones sexual assault. She welcomed the issue of sexual assault to the van.

        Senator Collins’ closure was a call for unity. At one point she spoke of the overlap of the opinions of Judge Kavanaugh and a colleague on the District of Columbia circuit, Judge Merrick Garland, whom, when he was nominated by President Obama, the Senate declined to hear or confirm. Her final hope was for a Supreme Court that issues fewer five-to-four decisions.

        The senator ended by announcing her intention to vote tomorrow for Judge Kavanaugh. Senator Manchin quickly followed, ensuring — absent a surprise — that the judge will be confirmed tomorrow, albeit on a narrow vote. There will be time to celebrate that moment when it comes, but it’s not too soon to suggest that Senator Collins’ speech could be a game-changer not only for Judge Kavanaugh but for Senator Collins herself.


  16. It reminds me of the opening scene of one of his Star Wars books where the ship (tie-fighter, X-wing?) weebled and wobbled. And now I’m going to have the theme song for “weebles wobble but they don’t fall down” in my head the rest of the day.

    Hey, no making fun of the weebles. Those are some of my daughter’s favorite toys! Though the commercial in the link you sent had a slightly different theme song than I remember…

    Now, here is where we go off into the land of make-believe again. He takes the gun out of the safe, tucks it under the waistband of his slacks and pulls his Polo shirt over it. Think about that for a moment. He doesn’t check to see if there’s a round chambered. He doesn’t even check to see if the magazine is in place or if there is ammo in it. Then there’s the whole putting it in his waistband and pulling his shirt over it. Not only is he risking the Sig falling down his pants unless that waist band is pretty damned tight but how in the hell is he supposed to get to the gun quickly if he’s pulled the shirt over it?

    I don’t know about the “land of make-believe.” This strikes me as exactly what Joe “Just fire a shotgun through the door” Biden would do if he ever got a pistol. Kudos to the author on getting the characterization right. The only thing missing is that I suspect the real Biden would be humming the Mission Impossible theme song as he did all this.

    Now, if this was a mystery and the narrator was female, I’d be saying she was too dumb to live. I’m screaming it right now at this noir wannabe.

    I’ll go one better. I think this narrator might be even dumber than the real Biden. He’d feel right at home with these guys.

  17. The thing about noir is that it’s fairly easy to do….badly. Hammett and Chandler read so easily that it fools you into thinking ‘anyone could do that’. And so we get romance novels written in the noir style, SF and fantasy novels written in the noir style. And more noir mysteries than the mind can comfortably conceive.

    I suspect that very few of the would-be noir authors have read ‘The Simple Art of Murder’, and most of those that did neglected to think about it much.

    Good noir is goddamned RARE. Noir that reaches the level of THE BIG SLEEP or THE MALTESE FALCON is nearly unheard of.

    But people keep on trying.

    I love the Robert Parker books, but they aren’t really very good noir. I never took to the Lew Archer books, and the only John D. McDonald book I love is THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH, AND EVERYTHING, which is much closer to Thorne Smith than Raymond Chandler.

    1. Don’t forget James M. Cain.

      I recall thinking as I read Mickey Spillane’s I, the Jury that it takes a special hand to write such pulpy goodness.

        1. In Nero Wolfe we find that Archie is able to enjoy the qualities high cuisine, but any well prepared food of any sort he can appreciate. Books can be the same. I love and reread both Jane Austin and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I would never place the latter in the same category as the former when it comes to writing, but he did create one of the most memorable of all characters in English storytelling.

  18. Hmm. Could this perhaps compete with “The Eye of Argon” as the very worst piece of writing ever?

    1. Nah. It’s not as bad as the book that shall not be named–Sarah and I discovered it at RWA one year and tortured one another reading excerpts aloud. She has since tortured her family and others with it. AND it is one of a series. There were 7 (?) the last I looked.

      1. Okay, now I’m going to have to ask someone what this book is and why it’s so bad. I’d assumed it was Wife-of-Emperor Starts-with-T, but as far as I know, there’s still only one of those.

        1. Don’t remember the author or titles but it’s a space series involving a “sexy cat man”.

            1. Challenge accepted. I made it through the “Look Inside” while only bursting into two or three uncontrollable fits of giggling. However, I already want to shoot the “heroine” and put her out of everyone else’s misery.

              Oh, and Amanda is wrong. There are 10 of them out there driving the unsuspecting to madness.

              1. I read the blurb long before Sarah brought it up and passed on it.

  19. I confess to all charges, ossifer! I did see that book and invested the effort to look it up and tout it to Sarah.

    I haven’t found so much amusement in reading book blurbs since the day back in the early Eighties Beloved Spouse and I discovered TOR (I think it was they, although niggling memory is suggesting a different three-letter publisher, something Delahanty?) was taking classic old novels (i.e., out of copyright) and repackaging them with modern marketing techniques, touting Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Little Women as contemporary Romance novels, while Frankenstein, Dracula and the works of Mr. Conan Doyle received similar treatments for their (then) contemporary genres.

    The only question about Hope Never Dies (in TPB, only $9.95) was who the author was taking as suckers.

    1. My husband and I saw it at our Sam’s Club. We just busted up laughing at the obvious absurdity of the plot listed in the blurb.

  20. reverse shoulder replacement surgery
    So, they put the old one back in? o.O
    (I know, that’s not what it is, but it just sounds funny.)

  21. the only thing separating this book from the slasher movies of the 1980’s is for our narrator to go running into the woods in high heels
    Well, that and he isn’t going into the basement.

  22. You have to remember that the target audience for this book (as opposed to the audience for this target/book) actually take seriously articles like these.


    “The contrast between Obama and Trump—decent vs. despicable; incisive vs. ignorant; honest vs. humbug; classy vs. clownish—is now the critical subtext of the 2018 campaign. With Obama’s current approval ratings more than 20 points higher than Trump’s, the aching memory of his presidency will help energize Democrats in the midterms.

    But Obama’s return is also a reminder that some of his admirable qualities—modesty, prudence, deliberateness—have inadvertently helped Republicans endanger everything he built.”


    “For all the chaos of the Trump White House, the GOP remains adroit at using the levers of power in our modern political system. Senate Democrats and Republicans are not even playing the same kind of game. The GOP comes to work ready for full-contact boxing while Democrats were setting up for a friendly game of checkers.

    How did the Democrats get rolled?”

    1. I love how both sides’ rabid partisans go on about how the other team comes in determined to WIN! while their side is a bunch of wusses.

      1. The same qualities that make me a rabid partisan would also tend to make me think that no holds are barred, and that the problem with my fellow partisans is that they simply do not dislike the opposition strongly enough. They tend to blind me to the pragmatic and rational cases for restraint, and the extent to which restraint permits me to build a larger coalition to oppose the foe with. I would probably be in much worse shape if I had not become convinced of extremist moderate ideology.

      2. For once, they almost have a point about that. Her Shrillness had been assured she couldn’t lose, and frankly didn’t campaign all that hard compared to Trump. Trump, OTOH, campaigned his butt off.

        So the Democrat establishment may actually believe that all they have to do is fire up their base. I think that would be a colossal mistake. I think that the way their base is behaving is going to drive the undecded middle to rush to the Republicans, because the Democrat base is making itself as irritating as possible.

        1. Trump, OTOH, campaigned his butt off.

          Well, that certainly explains the Resistances’ uncontrollable urges to show theirs.

          The Dems seem incapable of learning from the feedback over the Wellstone Memorial Rally and are irresistibly drawn to drink from that same tainted well.

      3. Have you noticed the influx of “what, you are supporting Trump now? Go away, we don’t need you!” twits on Instapundit?

        I’m not sure if they’re idiots or false flags, you don’t attack newcomers because they didn’t sign up for beta.

    2. As far as I am concerned, Jug Ears Obama is a powerful argument for taking Presidents who are leaving office and hurling them from the top of the Washington Monument as part of the inauguration of their successor.

        1. I think you ought to have the successor in place before the previous occupant exits stage sill.

      1. Going serious here, killing a President (or any politician) after they lost office or leave office is a Good Way to get Presidents For Live.

        If a President (or any politician) knows that he’ll face death (or prison) as a “reward” for leaving office, he has very reasonable reasons for using illegal means for staying in office.

        Obama is a very annoying ex-President but I wouldn’t have wanted him to think “I better stay President or I’m dead”. 😦

        1. There’s that, I suppose. Frankly I think the world would be a much nicer place without Obumbles and Jimmeh, but *shrug* I certainly wouldn’t want to see either as Presedent For Life.

          I wish more politicians would find something to do after losing office that didn’t involve airing their nitwit opinions. If Jimmeh would spend ALL his time building houses for the indigent he would be easier to take. Hell, STAMP COLLECTING would be a better use of his time than sticking his oar in every time there’s an international kerfuffle.

    3. Obama’s current approval ratings more than 20 points higher than Trump’s
      WTF? This is BizarroLand.

      some of [0bama’s] admirable qualities—modesty, prudence, deliberateness

      I’m guessing this writer is smoking something very strong……………..

        1. “Perhaps people approve of him NO LONGER BEING PRESIDENT.”

          Yes. But he won’t SHUT UP!!!

          Oh well, I don’t have to listen or read. When someone says “Well Obama said …” My response is going to be “He didn’t have the experience before, & he learned exactly nothing in the last 10 years.”

          No matter how much they want the world to sing “Kumbaya” together, the majority of the world is “Uhhh, no, but go ahead suckers.” With President Trump, the rest of the world is now going “Oh %$#@, they woke up.”

        2. Reminds me of a joke that goes back to about 2002 (and I probably got it from strategypage.com). Here ’tis:
          Old man walks up the the Marine guarding the gates to the White House and asks to speak to President Clinton. The sentry on duty replies that Mr. Clinton is no longer president. The old man says ok, thank you good-bye. The next day, the same old man wanders by and again asks the same sentry if President Clinton is in. Again, the Marine replies that the former governor of Arkansas is no longer president.
          For a third day in a row, the same gentlemen approaches the Devil Dog and again asks if President Clinton is in the White House. The Marine is concerned that the old man might be loosing his memory and reminds him, “Sir, as I told you yesterday and the day before, President Clinton is no longer president.”
          “Oh, I remember the man replies. I just like hearing it.”
          The Marine comes to attention and salutes. “See you tomorrow, sir.”

  23. Now that I have had time to sleep on it it has occurred to me — All things aside, wouldn’t we prefer it if the two compatriots quit messing around in politics and found a different pursuit to occupy their time?

    1. As they’re already popular in Hollywood and Obama has that Netflix deal, maybe they could start a series of remakes of classic Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movies, such as The Caddie?

      Obama would be Dean, the cool dude, and Biden seems perfect for the Lewis character.

  24. The Weebles’ plane reminds me of the Barbie plane we shouldn’t have bought or maybe I’m thinking of the AG doll sleigh? (See what you miss when you don’t have girls?)

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