Political Book Summaries, Reviews and Opinions

Political Book Summaries, Reviews and Opinions

Category Archives: Reviews

Book Review: The War Within by Bob Woodward

The fourth book of the Bush at War series by Bob Woodward, The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008, covers the years the final two years of the Bush Presidency and recounts the decisions and internal strife of that period. The War Within picks up where State of Denial left off, with Iraq declining into a violent cesspool of sectarian war and the U.S. with no decisive strategy. Read more of this post


Book Review: State of Denial by Bob Woodward

State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III by Bob Woodward is a definitive break from his two previous Bush at War books which we reviewed here and here.  Finally, instead of being a dispassionate chronicler, Woodward takes a critical look at the bungled Iraq War.  Read more of this post

Book Review: Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward

Plan of Attack: The Definitive Account of the Decision to Invade Iraq by Bob Woodward is the second installment of Woodward’s Bush at War series and picks up where Bush at War left off, that is after the initial entry into Afghanistan and prior to the Iraq War. Plan of Attack focuses mainly on the build up to war in Iraq after 9/11 at the Cabinet level of the Bush administration. As in Bush at War, Woodward maintains his role of a chronicler more so than an analyst. Woodward gives a good account of how events unfolded and the interactions between all the main players but never dives seriously into one aspect, such as the issue of the WMD intelligence. Read more of this post

Book Review: Bush at War by Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward set out to write about George W. Bush’s first year as President, covering his tax cuts and domestic agenda, but when September 11th happened it changed the focus of his book.  Instead Woodward covered the Administration after 9/11 occurred and their implementation of the War on Terror, specifically on the Afghanistan front.  Read more of this post

Book Review: The Good Soldiers by David Finkel

Even with the most gruesome and graphic depictions of war violence on film there is still a mental barrier between reality and fantasy. In his book The Good Soldiers, David Finkel brings the reader realistic depictions of the savageness of the modern day warfare and to some level the reader is given a glimpse of the dark state of mind that results from war. Read more of this post

End the Fed: Book Review

End the Fed Political Book Summary

End the Fed

By: Ron Paul


Brief Summary: (full summary above)
The book is an argument for repealing the laws that establish the Federal Reserve and give the Government the power to control money. It is established that government controlling the money supply is dangerous and socialist, a major pillar in Marxism and tyranny. It is immoral, economically foolish, anti-liberty, and anti-constitutional. Our leaders are using the Fed to tax us all in secret and burden us with unmanageable debt. Read more of this post

Book Review: Interventions by Noam Chomsky

Interventions by Noam Chomsky is a compilation of selected Chomsky articles from 2002 up to 2006.  All articles were syndicated by the NY Times Syndicate but rarely ever published in the United States, as most of the mainstream media would consider Chomsky’s views too dissident.  If you’ve read the author’s prior works then you will not be surprised by anything in Interventions.  Chomsky tends to focus on three arching subjects which make their way into most of his articles and arguments. Read more of this post

Presidents and Near Presidents I have known (Review)

This is the book summary of Presidents & Near Presidents I have known. It is a digital book I was given a chance to read. What follows is the review, in the links are the chapter summaries The idea is that you can read the summary and review it in about fifteen minutes and get the gist of the book, if you think you’d like it, go buy it. Here’s a link. Note: I don’t make any money from linking to Amazon, so if you want to buy it someplace else, go ahead. 🙂

Presidents & Near Presidents I have known

By: Lionel Rolfe

Chapters 1 – 3

Chapters 4 – 6

Chapters 7 – 9

Chapters 10- 14


Brief Summary: (full summary above)
The book is a collection of thoughts about America, her past, her problems, her present and her future. It carries a very heavy and clear liberal message and attacks Republicans conservatives, and their ideals through out. Subject matter ranges from war and peace to economics, socialism, justice, and partisanship.

The good?
Well, there’s a lot of good nuggets. It really gets into the authors head about how the Left views the Right. His (naïve? Old-fashioned? Quaint?) views of how our problems should lead us towards more unified and populist politics is also interesting.

The Bad?
A lot. Firstly, it was poorly written. Most of the ideas in the book have been written ad nauseam. I kept thinking I was reading some guys blog posts. Some days the posts are clear, and some days the posts are just random complaints about the world. There’s no sourcing and documentation of various claims. Lastly, the notion that half the country (those claiming to be conservatives) have no ideals beyond greed was more than a bit insulting.

Grade: D

Chapter 1
This chapter reads mainly as history of his uncle and a warning his uncle came him concerning the future of the world. He lists the interesting and impressive things his uncle did and then. He then segues from that memory to current affairs, and how he sees parallels in the current tea-partiers and right-wing extremists as those who opposed John Kennedy and MLK. Those charges are loaded for sure, and I hope following chapters elaborate a lot more.

Chapter 2
Lionel wants the reader to compare him to Rush Limbaugh, and he has a point. Only he’s not (yet) the Liberal version of a flame-throwing salt-the-earth Rush Limbaugh, with all his talk of violins and (almost?) anti-capitalism he couldn’t be much further Left of Limbaugh on the political landscape. He position and thoughts on Capitalism and the down-side of society based entirely on the bottom line, appears fair-minded at first read, but it’s also horribly vague. What does “mixed” economy mean? I think most people with an Econ 101 class under their belt would agree that we do need regulations and laws on corporate behavior, but that doesn’t detract at all from Capitalism. So though I find it easy to agree with some of the words he put down, it’s not clear yet exactly how far Left he is indicating here. But I’ll end this chapter the way he does: (because he did end the chapter well):

“By the way, heard the one that was in Doonesbury where someone asks do you know the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenburg? The answer: one is a flaming Nazi gasbag, and the other is just a dirigible.”

Chapter 3
I didn’t like this chapter. The 2000 election is simply too big to handle well in so few pages. There’s nothing here other than the repeated claims of hundreds (thousands? Millions?) of other liberals that George Bush stole the Election. If you can’t spend time dissecting and/or putting forth a unique and new take on it, don’t write a chapter on it. The only part of interest was his thoughts about how that can/should move people to push back harder than they have.

Chapter 4
Lionel Rolfe does not like George Bush. Doesn’t like him at all, several accusations are made without proper documentation and argument, analogies are made (such as the Christian Taliban) but only at the end, and then almost as if a throw-away line, an afterthought. This was a disappointing chapter.

Chapter 5
Now this was a meaty chapter. The author uses the Clinton impeachment episode as a board against which to bounce the hypocrisy of four men whom he names the “gang of four” though exactly how they connect to each other is never really clarified. The first three make sense, the Media leader, the House Leader, and the Religious Leader. How Hyde fits in, except as a simple example of hypocrisy, I’m not sure.What follows is a long discussion (but wandering and often disjointed) discussion of numerous examples of these four being, well, bad. Hypocrites, racists, sexists, liars, etc. For the most part the examples are pretty damning. But one of the things I hate about Ann Coulter is how she’ll throw an attack at someone she doesn’t like, and then boom, walks away. Same idea here. There was no documentation on several things in here, such as Gingrich’s wife collected money from charity for her kids. I’d not heard that before. Source please? If there’s no source, just the Author saying it, it’s hearsay. I suppose I could Google it, but if I’m reading someone’s book, I shouldn’t have to go to Google to get the information.

Also, the well-discussed bad things about these four people only not withstanding, I don’t think the argument is well made they constitute an American Taliban.Also, as a simple fact check, the wall street crash would not have left social security insolvent for the simple three facts that

A only new people could put their money into wall street
B only 25% of their money could be put into stocks the rest would stay government
C the Wallstreet crash, though bad, was nowhere near bad enough to wipe out even what would have been in there.

Chapter 6
I’m not sure what to say about this chapter. I had hoped, after the last one, that the book was about to get a lot better. It didn’t. This chapter is titled “The New American Fascism” but rather than make any kind of argument towards that end, the chapter is basically name calling aimed at Bush, McCain, Palin, and Pat Buchannan.

Chapter 7
This was one of the better chapters. It could use some cleaning up, (really, the whole book could) but this one ends really well and the ending is carried forth by the majority of the chapter. Essentially, Sarah Palin is an opportunistic hypocrite who believes in hardcore Christian fundamental tenets. I immediately got an image of Ahmadinejad grinning in the face of annihilation.

Which of course leads to the thought, is that anti-religious view fair? Is it fair to view her fundamentalism as a mark against her? What politician doesn’t use Religion to get votes? Pete Stark is who. Still, it strikes me as both a good question to ask, as well as a complicated one. Can you chastise someone for anti-Semitism while also chastising someone for their own religious beliefs? How extraordinary does someone’s fundamentalism have to be before you can use it against them, without being a bigot? I don’t know. But the author has decided that Sarah Palin many moral infractions is open and fair game, and that her religious background makes those moral infractions worse.

Chapter 8
Short chapter. There’s an odd bit in the middle that could probably have been summarized as “I have black friends” but that would have been unkind. I don’t really know the point of the middle where he discusses some black friends he’s had. I don’t see how they tie into Obama, except that they’re black and the author apparently knew the inventor of Kwanzaa. Frankly, Obama being a good writer is more obvious and less interesting that the fact the author new the guy that invented Kwanzaa. A white-guy’s take on that guy would have made for a much more interesting chapter.
Regardless, the chapter was about Obama, and the author compares him to other great writers and hopes that that makes him a more successful president than a monster like Mao Tse Tung.

Chapter 9
The start of the chapter threw a few bombs at John McCain and Republicans in general on education funding. This is something that can be argued as Republicans have increased educational spending on many occasions. That said, the broader point about Republicans embracing ignorance is a more important point. Another term of it is “Know-Nothings” a political party was anti-immigrant, religious zealots and existed back in the 1850’s. Obama accused the Republican party of just this on several occasions. The accusation that Republicans choose blissful ignorance over facts on matters from Evolution, to Abstinence programs, from economic theory to foreign policy, is a topic that could be discussed at length, and is scratched at a bit here.

The rest of the chapter is about the competing economic theories of John Maynard Keyes and Milton Friedman. I enjoy discussions of economics, so I found the chapter intriguing. It would have benefited from diagrams and examples. Of course, you could write a trilogy on the clash between trickle up vs. trickle down and still not cover everything, so I can’t mark the author too bad for not handling the subject in its entirety.

Chapter 10
This was by far the best chapter. It’s a winding tale of how the author met with and talked to many presidents, and people close to presidents (thus the name of the chapter and the book). His interaction with recent presidents is scarce, but he does have some impressive name dropping of older politicians. The story of McGee was an excellent viewpoint into the workings of government. His eavesdropping on “The Hump” is a very compelling story. Likewise, his introduction to Nixon and the various musings on the man are very interesting. Through out the chapter he clearly shows his disdain for all things Republican, making no bones of calling the Democratic presidents heroes. The closest thing to an insult on a Democrat he gets is calling Clinton a Centrist, which I suppose is an insult to certain folks.
My only real problem would be that the chapter doesn’t really have a point outside name dropping, but at least it does that well. Reading it I couldn’t help but think of the connection the author made previously tying himself to Rush Limbaugh, and certainly the author is equally willing to throw bombs. If you’re a true-blue Liberal, you’ll probably enjoy this chapter

Chapter 11
Perhaps the author should have started the book with chapter 10. That chapter was good, this one was even better. His thoughts on Israel, religion, Jews, Atheist and the Middle East are very thoughtful. There’s very little bomb throwing, in this chapter, though the first lobbed bomb is quite the attention getter. A minor problem is the reference to “the Magic Christian” which I gather is a film I’ve never seen, so I didn’t catch the analogy.

Chapter 12
Well, whatever bomb throwing the last chapter lacked this one made up for. Ignoring the bombs for a moment, the chapter lacks cohesion. It’s essentially a chapter of various reasons that the author doesn’t like Republicans. The chapter could have been titled “Why I hate Republicans” (actually, so could the book).

So the value of this chapter really was to get an understanding not of the Republicans, but of the Liberal view of Republicans. The author views Republican principles such as small government and free market and supply-side economics as red herrings, a façade for the only true principle, which is class warfare against the non-rich. I don’t know how to describe the value of that. But if you start from that position, belief the opposition is at war with everyone not rich, then any kind of complicated concept (such as cutting the top marginal tax rate to spar investment) becomes impossible to explain. A very insightful chapter.

Chapter 13
Ugh. Just, way too complicated material for way to random thinking

Chapter 14
This was the most poetic of the chapters. The writing style was very nice and easy to read. It was a good end to the book, wrapping up the core idea of the book: The Republicans are the enemy and Obama must fight them

Fire-Breathing Liberal (review)

Fire-Breathing Liberal

How I learned to survive (and thrive) in the contact sport of Congress

By: Robert C Wexler with David Fisher

Summary to come. (eventually….)

Brief summary
The book is a history of Rep. Robert Wexler’s time in the House and the various political fights he’s gotten into in his time. It’s part biography (politicians do-so-love to talk about themselves) and part civics lesson. Both parts are delivered with a know-it-all humility and liberal slant.

Was it a good book?
Yes. Quite amusing, even in the parts I disagreed with him, it was a thoroughly amusing book exposing the inner workings of congress. His discussion about why he wanted to be on the judiciary committee, as well as back-room discussion about how you get such a seat, was very interesting. Him answering foreign dignitaries about the President was very revealing, and his personal take on the hanging chads in the 2000 election (it was his district) are al very interesting, well written, and thoroughly absorbing.

The good?
Call me a wonk all you what, my favorite parts were the civics lessons. How government really works from the inside. For example, did you know that for the 2 minutes before every vote the traffic lights between the Capital Building and the congressional offices across the street all go red? That way congressmen can literally stall to the last moment and then race across the street without getting run over. Or that they have cubicles for outgoing congressmen are right out of some sitcom? I found that stuff highly enjoyable. I even started a conversation about this stuff with some friends over beer. Yeah, I got blank stares and then they changed the conversation. 😦

The bad?
I don’t have much negative to say about the book. It’s well written, it’s amusing, and it’s informational. The parts I may not agree with are policy points that I won’t mark against the book. The goal of the book is, I think, to just be an interesting read. I really don’t think the guy is even trying to get people to vote for him, as he says, he has a very safe seat and hasn’t had anyone run against him in years. So for the bad I’ll put “He’s hardcore liberal” Take that tree huggers.

The book covers some of the most controversial political events of he last several years and does so while interjecting a lot of personal in-the-action perspective. He was involved in the impeachment of Clinton, tried to impeach Bush, was there for the 2000 election disaster, and as a Jew discusses the equally disastrous Israel/Palestine situation.

A good book if you want to understand how congress works, a great book if you’re a liberal and want to agree with the guy you’re reading.


“With enthusiasm and candor, a passionate Democratic congressman gives readers an inside look at the House of Representatives during a period of declining government accountability . . . Wexler’s Southern Florida district was the center of the “butterfly ballot” controversy during the 2000 election, and he angrily recounts the zeal and heartbreak he saw in his elderly constituents, hundreds of whom mistakenly cast votes for Pat Buchanan that were never properly recounted. A staunch supporter of Israel and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he endured a tense meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad because he saw it as an opportunity to learn more about a powerful figure in Middle Eastern relations. When Assad asked, “Is George Bush crazy?” Wexler’s description of the thought process behind his carefully phrased answer offers a mini-lesson in diplomacy. His clarity and humanity in no way dampen his zest for picking fights. His list of Republican misdeeds includes strong-arming for votes, using fear to galvanize public support, misleading Congress into war and illegally wiretapping citizens . . . After loudly decrying the Clinton impeachment on the grounds that the president did not betray his country, he now declares that a worthy candidate for impeachment currently sits in the White House. Yet Wexler never loses humor or optimism. His wife, children and belief in democracy keep him grounded and working hard for civility and the ideals on which the nation was founded . . . Wexler’s approachable, eye-opening political autobiography overflows with intriguing detail and insight.”
–Kirkus Reviews

“I enjoyed Congressman Wexler’s book even more than I enjoy cocaine and prostitutes.”
–Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report

Videos on Laffer Curve and Fair Tax

Here are some interesting videos a reader left in a comment. They are about the Laffer curve and explain it really well. I agreed with most of what was in there. They’re worth watching. One of the videos makes a (bad) mistake when it shows specific numbers for the Laffer Curve. An important thing to understand is that no one knows where point “B” is. Is the point of highest revenue at 20%? 25%? 33%? 75%? Finding rock-solid evidence of exactly where point B is would be like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Plus I’d personally buy you a cookie. So watch, enjoy. It’s not a very fancy video, I’ll give it a C- in quality of production, but the information is pretty good, so an solid B+.

Additionally, there are some campy cutaway scenes to politicians the video creater doesn’t like and some name calling. I found it very unproductive and unhelpful to the video or the debate. There was no argument made about the people in the pictures, just a random insinuation these are bad people. That’s no way to win an argument, it just makes the guy making the attacks look desperate.

The discussion of Dynamic vs. Static scoring in the end is really good. I’ve heard the story example before, but it’s always amusing. This senator asked the what would happen if you increased taxes to 100%, and the answer was a giant revenue increase, which is silly.

Additionally, though I like the Laffer Curve and agree with it in concept, I do disagree with a key tennet. Even at 100% taxation, there would still be some collection. My example would be slavery. I don’t mean that as a joke, but that’s what 100% taxation looks like. You still get revenue, but the people are slaves. Another example would be a powerful Communist Nation where everyone works for free, but is then provided food and shelter by the government. That’s also 100% taxation. So on a “nit-picky” level I say Arthur Laffer was wrong, you can tax people 100% and continue to get revenue, but that would require a country none of us would call free.

I’ll throw inanother one, it’s a rather fair discussion on the FairTax, somewhat related to the three previous videos. Now I am a very strong supporter of the fairtax and as such I find several things in this video annoying, like when he says it’s a 30% addition to everything. So I’ll clear it up a bit. There are two acceptable ways to look at what percentage of your money is taxed, inclusive and exclusive.

When talking about income taxes, people use the inclusve method. If  the income tax is 25%, and you earn $100, you give the government $25 and keep $75.

When talking about sales taxes, people use the exclusive method. If the sales tax is 33% and you have $100, you can buy something with a price of $75.

So though the 25% income tax has a lower number than the 33% income tax, either way, you have $75 dollars to spend. So yes, in the Fairtax the number seems high, but you have to compare apples to apples. Since you’re replacing the income tax, and that is generally spoken about in inclusive numbers, then you should use inclusive numbers when talking about the FairTax. In which case the tax doesn’t seem so high. (Wow, didn’t mean to write so much.) Anyway, like I said, it’s a pretty fair

Letter to the President by Sen. Byrd: Reviews

Letter to a new President

Commonsense Lessons for our Next Leader

By: Robert C Byrd with Steve Kettmann

Chapter 1

Chapters 2 – 3

Chapters 4 – 6

Chapters 7 – 10


Brief Summary: (full summary above)

This is a letter written to “New President”. It was written before Obama eve won the primaries, so it’s alwaays vague who he’s talking to. It could be McCain or Clinton as easily as Obama or Ron Paul. It is written as a very personal letter, sometimes sounding like a lecture, other times like an old man retelling an old favorite story, and then mixed up with lots of talk of Faith, and love of Country.

The Good?

The good parts was the conversation tone and the general “old timerness” of the book. It was fun to read, and his occassionaly bombs thrown at Bush were always amusing. Especially in the chapter where he calls for an end to partisan (exuse me while I throw a bomb) warfare. The chapters though also covered a lot of things that I do think is important for not just the president, but us all: knowing the Constitution (Rush! Read up!) lies, not doing knee-jerk diplomacy, etc.

The bad?

There is a hypocritical thread through out the whole book. The book speaks as if on a moral white horse, all the while attacking the previous administration. If you think the Bush Administration was as bad as he does, you won’t find this hypocritical. But I would imagine McCain reading this and not finishing it.


I give it a B. Good read. Great thoughts from an older erra.

Chapter 1

I feel silly saying that I like the old guy. I mean, I think “Robert Byrd” I instantly think “He’s the guy that was the KKK guy.” Can you imagine what the Democrats would do to him if he were a Republican? *grimace face* But there is something nice about his writing. I want to use the word quaint. He reminds me of an elderly grandfather sitting around chatting. It’s hard for old people to chat without lecturing, and certainly, Mr. Byrd spends most of the chapter lecturing. But it comes across as from a guy so old, it’s nice. It’s comforting almost to listen to this guy explain events he lived through but I consider ancient history. Part of that is also the content of the chapter.

I think I let my summary run away with me. I’ll make a point to keep the upcoming chapter summaries shorter (it’s a very short book after all). The chapter talks about how the president should be a calming influence, not a fear monger prodding people along from the back. It’s a very good chapter, and I think the fact I let the summary run away from me speaks to that. Looking forward to finishing the book


Chapter 2

This guy writes with an amazingly patriotic tone that is contagious. Very good chapter. His stance on the Constitution is nice to read, even as he writes in hismuch very conversational/lecturing tone.

Chapter 3

In this chapter, we get a bit more personal with the anecdotes, getting an interesting story about going to Russia and arguments he’s had with colleagues about comparing each other to Nazis. Personally, I think it’s all bad, but hey, let them make their points however they want.There’s a lot of talk of history and the importance of it, but he never attempts to go into real depth, which would be silly in a chapter l2 pages long. Essentially, the chapter can be summed up as thus: Learn your history Mr. President.

Chapter 4

One thing I didn’t like about this was that after setting up the lie about Clinton, Byrd basically just drops it to the side and says “blah”. Mind you, I understand, I think most Americans thinking back about him lying about a BJ tend to think “blah”. Still, he’s talking about lying, specifically brings it up to make the point that you need to stand up to lies, and then he backs down instantly without adequate reason. I know why I think impeaching a President is stupid over a simple BJ, but since he brought the issue up, I expected him to answer why he did so. The thing I liked the most was the several quotes. I like how he quotes lots of other wise people to make points. He’s got the bible, Nietzsche, Mark Twain, even Plato! It’s very cool. I like that a lot. Better, he uses those quotes very well to move his point forward. The point being, George Bush lied to America frequently with big and bold lies that were believed and that hurts Democracy, so please, New President, don’t lie like Bush did.

On the left I put in a link to Bushlies.net I do not endorse the site, I only breiefly read it. But they’ve gathered the assorted “lies” people accuse Bush of and you can judge the merit of them on your own. Additionally, I put in a link to the Greatest Story ever Sold. The entire book is about how the Administration mislead America.

Chapter 5

This chapter deals mostly with a comparison between Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan. Harry Truman, it seems, was a very good man. Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush are less so. Specically, the (criminal) actions surrounding the Inra-Contra scandal and the cover-up at the very top where Bush pardoned six people to protect himself from his own criminal behavior. 

Now, one could make the argument that by making the pardon himself and not just doing some back-door sneakyness is a level of accountability. Who is to blame for those 6 guys walking? George H. W. Bush. There’s no ambiguity about it. But that’s aside the point, which is that our elected leaders broke very important laws involving them interfering in other countries and selling weapons to our enemies. These serious actions were under investigation when those being investigated were pardoned so they’d not testify against thoes who gave them their orders. The result is a loss of accountability. Which is a compelling narrative.

Of course, politicians doing everything they can to avoid getting in trouble is hardly limited to those of Byrds opposing party. The only example he can think of is Clinton’s pardon of Mark Rich. Regardless, it was a decent chapter

Chapter 6

A nice chapter. There is a bit of awkwardness as the author is trying to tie in the failure of the media to the president. I don’t think it’s really fair to blame Bush for the media being useless. That’s like complaining that the kid who stole a cookie is to blame for his mom not watching him better.

That said, the chapter chronicles a few instances of how the Bush Administration did they’re part to help the Media down the pit into uselessness.

Chapter 7

I did not like this chapter very much. It was really unorganized and the thoughts seemed to ramble and lose cohesion. It starts with Nazi’s and obedience, ties that into 9/11, complains about the press, segues to negative campaign commersials being less about substance than emotion, does the same about campaigns, and then disses Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice and elevating Madeline Albright.

There isn’t really any discussion at all of photo ops. I re-read the chapter and don’t see any clear definition of what “photo-op diplomacy” means. So, the chapters not a waste, but it doesn’t carry any sort of driving point and then ends in whimper

Chapter 8

This was a much better chapter. The best one so far. I had no idea how close Clinton was to treaty with North Korea, nor how badly Bush F’d that up. It was also creepy seeing the numbers of positive opinions of America drop the world over. You have to wonder if that has really made us safer. How has it helped us for Bush to have insulted North Korea and their leader? How did it help America to drive away Turkey? Isn’t that the exact right country to get closer relations with?

Chapter 9

A decent chapter. There’s a big part in the middle about Attorney General Ashcroft. I’ve never been particularly impressed with the whole story. I mean, Ashcroft approved the thing lots of time. He wasn’t standing up on principle, he agreed with the thing, he was standing up for work-place ettiquette. Essentially, it’s my offday. Talk to my assistant. So maybe if someone reads this they can explain for me why it’s such a big deal that the encounter has been in several books and discussed so much on cable tv. (hmm, sorry for the rant)

Otherwise it’s a decent chapter. But everyone always talks about how bad Partisanship is. Just before and after they engage in it. Only a few chapters before this he was  comparing the Republicans to Nazis. Ah well. Politics my friends, politics

Chapter 10

The book ends on a bit of a personal reflective tone. He talks about his past, and (swear I’m not teasing) complains about the kids of this generation moving too fast. He gives several examples of how everything has spead up and how he prefers the movies of the thirties, which were slow enough you “could sit down and enjoy”. It was very amusing in the sense that he’s an old man complaining about the “those darned kids now-a-days”. But the larger point was interesting, and that was essentially, sit down, think the matter over, and don’t be impatient

From Publishers Weekly

In this book-length letter to the next president, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) draws on his 56 years of experience in Congress to offer advice, admonition and encouragement. With frequent references to past presidents, especially his personal favorite, Harry Truman, Byrd claims that his passion for the Constitution is only rivaled by his love for his wife. He presents a readable, if slight, survey of past presidencies and a scathing evaluation of the “greatest crisis” in the nation’s history brought about by the “failings” of the Bush administration: the buildup to the war in Iraq and the president’s bungled handling of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath. Chapter headings such as “Bring Back the Fireside Chat” and scads of references to Emerson, Jefferson and Thoreau provide a rich philosophical context to Byrd’s political thought, even as much of his advice feels familiar and anodyne: “Build Your Presidency Around Accountability.” The book’s detailed analysis of the great power and responsibility of the executive branch is timely, and prospective presidents and concerned citizens would be well-advised to read Byrd’s book. (July)


President Jimmy Carter:

“Senator Byrd draws on a lifetime of experience to offer a guiding hand to our country’s next Commander in Chief. His unfailing faith in God and country provides an example of the best we should hope to find in our leaders as well as any of our fellow citizens.”

Godless: Review


The Church of Liberalism

By: Ann Coulter



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I read Godless early last year. It was horrible. I hated it. To do the summary of it I went to the library, borrowed it and tried to write a summary. But it just kept pissing me off. So I’m using someone else’s summary. You’ll note that as the chapters go each chapter summary gets shorter. I assume the writer was suffering the effects of too much hate and stupid.

The problem with Ann Coulter is that she takes something good like “Don’t teach sex to children” and then to argue her point she
1. Lies about what her opponents are saying
2. Lies about what the facts are
3. Throws hate at anyone who disagrees with her
4. Throws hate at anyone who points out her lies and hatred and fascism
5. Lies some more, but in newer and more creative ways (Link)

One simple example of how she lies.

On page 175, Coulter says:

But in contrast to liberal preachiness about IQ, there would be no moralizing when it came to sex. Anal sex, oral sex, fisting, dental dams, “birthing games” — all that would be foisted on unsuspecting children in order to protect kindergarteners from the scourge of AIDS. As one heroine of the sex education movement told an approving New York Times reporter, “My job is not to teach one right value system. Parents and churches teach moral values. My job is to say, ‘These are the facts,’ and to help the students, as adults, decide what is right for them.”9

Okay, real real simple, notice the twin-bolded words. At the start of the paragraph she’s pissed that we are teach anal sex to kindergarteners. Then to prove that, she quotes someone talking adults. When you read the end-notes, you see it’s college-aged adults being given optional college classes. There’s no foisting here. In fact, lets’ actually look at the definition of the word. To Foist means to pass somethig off as valuble, when really it’s fruadulant and then to impose it with trickery or coersion. Okay? Well guess what, that is Ann’s specialty. She has foisted off the belief that Liberals want to teach Anal Sex to 3-year olds by (1) pretending what she’s saying is important for the protection of children, (2) is actually about voluntary adult college classes, and (3) if you don’t agree with her you are Godless. Is that trickery or coersion? I don’t know. I do know you can’t trust anything in her books. Click the link above for dozens of lies in her book. Some are petty, but most are valid. And bare in mind, whenever anyone lies to prove their argument, its because they know they’re wrong.

So, I get it Mrs. Coulter, you believe in God and have some policy disagreements with Democrats. But why lie about your opponents? But why do you shit on the Constitution? Why do you burn the flag? Why do you call on us to hate each other? Why do you give us Conservatives such a bad name? And at what point in time did Christianity become a requirement to be Conservative? Remember, please, the Declaration of Independence names only a “God of Nature”, a title specifically chosen because it wasn’t Christian, and the Constitution has no mention of god at all. Traditional values in this country, especially political value, aren’t Christian.

There is no good in this book. I do not recommend it to anyone.

From the Book Reporter:

I have been deeply fond of Ann Coulter since the 1990s when I first came across her weekly column in an issue of Human Events, a conservative magazine. I fell in full-blown love with her when, during an appearance on “Hannity and Colmes,” she dismissively described John Kerry as “a kept man.” Given that I had been saying basically the same thing for years, it was refreshing to hear someone else not only reach the identical conclusion but fearlessly state it.


From Powells:

H. L. Mencken once responded to a question asked by many of his readers: “If you find so much that is unworthy of reverence in the United States, then why do you live here?” His answer was, “Why do men go to zoos?” Sadly, Mencken is not here to ogle the newest creature in the American Zoo: the Bleached Flamingo, otherwise known as Ann Coulter. This beast draws crowds by its frequent, raucous calls, eerily resembling a human voice, and its unearthly appearance, scrawny and pallid. (Wikipedia notes that “a white or pale flamingo … is usually unhealthy or suffering from a lack of food.”) The etiolated Coulter issued a piercing squawk this spring with her now-notorious book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism. Its thesis, harebrained even by her standards, is that liberals are an atheistic lot who have devised a substitute religion, replete with the sacraments of abortion, feminism, coddling of criminals, and — you guessed it — bestiality. Liberals also have their god, who, like Coulter’s, is bearded and imposing. He is none other than Charles Darwin. But the left-wing god is malevolent, for Coulter sees Darwin as the root cause of every ill afflicting our society, not to mention being responsible for the historical atrocities of Hitler and Stalin.