Stuff to Read

My new book got its first review. Here’s another place to pre-order it.

A former speechwriter for Gen. Jim Mattis has a new book out called Holding the Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon With Secretary Mattis. Here’s an excerpt describing a Pentagon meeting with Trump, who comes across as a pentulant toddler, as you might imagine.

It probably would have been better if Mattis himself had written such a book, but the professional military guys have a deeply held aversion to being politically partisan. Some of them even choose to not vote:

By not voting, I am walking in the boot prints of our greatest officers: George C. Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Patton, to name a few who didn’t vote while in uniform, and those of the modern era that tread the same path — David H. Petraeus, Martin Dempsey and, by all appearances, Mark A. Milley, the current Army chief of staff. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant is an especially instructive case, because he faced the grimmest temptation to tamper with the election of 1864 during the Civil War. And yet, crucially, Grant chose not to vote.

These giants lived in different times, but they all agreed: Military officers shouldn’t vote in national elections. As a profession, we’d do well to follow their lead. I know I will.

Maybe they should get a little more political now.

Why Trump Dropped His Idea to Hold the G7 at His Own Hotel. In brief, he heard from a great many Republicans that they weren’t going to defend his little plan to goose profits at his golf resort. Today he’s whining that he’s the victim of a “phony” emoluments clause. He also claims sole credit for containing ISIS:

“ISIS was all over the place … It was me…who captured them,” Trump told reporters at a cabinet meeting Monday in the White House. “I’m the one who did the capturing. I’m the one who knows more about it than you people or the fake pundits.”

And it was him that let them get away, I hear. What a guy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to put together a governing coalition, which means — well, I’m not sure what it means. You can read about it here. Maybe when the dust clear someone else will be prime minister. Or Netanyahu may stick around. It’s convoluted.

This week in the House: The upcoming testimony lineup.

15 thoughts on “Stuff to Read

  1. Nice Review.

    On the subject of literature, I read that the planned Trump Presidential Library will be the first presidential library to be stocked exclusively with fiction.

  2. "You people with your phony emolument clause"

    Next  he'll call the constitution fake.

    Because he's still in the hospitality  business. 

  3. Doug,

    I think the tRUMP Library will house his collection of Bazooka Joe bubble-gum wrappers, and his extensive cache of Playboy, Penthouse, and Screw magazines.

    Oh, and his books, and "Mein Kampf," of course!

    And if Putin "wrote" any books, they'll be there too!

  4. Will it house his kissy notes to Puttie?  I would guess any golf score cards that are honestly witnessed will be classified until at least 2050.  I hear his best shot is the foot mashie. 

  5. I'm almost pissed off. After 4 years the republicans shut down Doral because they couldn't defend it( with a 3 word phrase).


    Not the dead bodies

  6. Thanks Mulvaney. You confirmed trump is in the hospitality business ie the tv show, it's all about the money and the quid pro quo.

    Somebody tell the republicans that it is time to turn off the show . We need a president that listens to our advisors not Putin ,Orban or Erdogan.

  7. Best wishes for the new book. I enjoyed Operators and Things some time ago. The calm narrative is a thing of otherworldly charm. I've also read The Mask of Sanity by Hervey Cleckley, The Interpretation of Dreams by Freud (who was a pseudo scientist but wrote well), and others.

    Trump's library will no doubt feature a spray-painted exterior the color of Cheez Whiz and polemics by Fox News, Drudge Report, Breitbart, and other low-rent, right wing hacks. But if any real books accidentally find their way there, this should be one:


  8. The spirit of the times, as the close translation of a German word, seems to be trending in a liberal direction. Recent news reports have Switzerland's politics going quite green and the country is reported to support two green parties.  Trump's buddy Netanyahu, according to the linked article, has failed to assemble a working majority and now his chief opponent will have a chance. Trudeau, it is reported, has prevailed in Canada and will be able to assemble a majority in their parament.  This should continue to give our northern neighbors a liberal government with a national health care system and a solid green bent. 

    These are good signs, as extremists notions prevail in the divisive populist off-shoot of conservatism.  In a reaction to anything social, it feeds the corrupt and anti-social.  Netanyahu, in Israel, faces charges of corruption that appear to have lasting merit.  Russia continues to shun civilization, and fosters division to weaken rivals.  Both Russia and Saudi Arabia use international hit men.  With bone saws and radioactive poisons they abuse national power.  To say the least, it is good news that a collective human spirit is apparent which rejects this direction.  We can only hope our missteps are at least serving as a bad example for other nations to avoid.  

    Much depends on our reputation as good example to the larger humanity.  We need to strive to align ourselves with ideas that are in harmony with the good of all, because we are, after all, all on this planet together.  As Carl Sagan wisely noted, all our survival is dependent of the survival of this planet, because there is and will continue to be no viable plan B.

  9. The word is that Ambassador Taylor just ran the impeachment ball through the goal posts. Now Rudy is going to have to spin with a skill equivalent to that of Rumplestiltskin if he hopes to turn Trump's upcoming impeachment around. The articles of impeachment are in the bag. Go Donny, go!

     If you want to know why all roads lead to Putin? The answer is, it is an emotional condition that afflicts certain men who are consumed by insecurity.. The condition is known in street vernacular as penis envy. It's the same reason why Erdogan was able to eat Trump's lunch. Trump should have worn a face mask when he met with both Erdogan and Putin. Them male pheromones will get you every time, Donny!

    • Sonderland will be recalled to testify, I hear. He testified with a bunch of "I can't recall." caveats. The testimony from today call the Trump toady out specifically. He may have testified the first time to try to stay out of jail and he lost his memory on key conversations that would implicate Trump. Perjury has been charged already so in his rematch, he may have to decide whose ass he wants to save, his or Trump's.

      • Seems like a trend toward c.y.O.a.  Unless of course you fear Russian retributions in which case cover is really hard to find.

        • The Manfort Syndrome. Interesting that half of what Trump was demanding was the discovery of evidence that Ukraine (not Russia) was behind the DNC break-in. That's potentially to lay the groundwork for a Manifort pardon. "New evidence." Does that suggest Manifort has been leaning on Trump to get out of jail – or else? I am speculating, not writing a conspiracy theory. Trump may be back to trying to clear Russia, not Manifort. 

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