Andrew McCabe’s FBI Perspective On Why None of This is Normal

Book review: The Threat, by Andrew McCabe (Amazon / Book Depository) Several times throughout The Threat, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe describes a scene in the Oval Office. People called in to meet with Donald Trump sit on small wooden chairs lined up in front of the Resolute desk, “like schoolboys who’d been called to the principal’s office.” Considering who’s positioned like this, from … Continue reading Andrew McCabe’s FBI Perspective On Why None of This is Normal

The Many Phases of Michelle

Book review: Becoming, by Michelle Obama (Amazon / Book Depository) When you’re First Lady, America shows itself to you in its extremes. Michelle Obama’s life has had so many facets already: two Ivy League degrees, a successful career in corporate law, vice president of a hospital, nonprofit director, not to mention a mother, a role she cherishes. And then she became the First Lady of … Continue reading The Many Phases of Michelle

Be Very Afraid

Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward (Amazon Book Depository) (I keep promising myself I’m not going to read any more of these Trump/White House books but I’m unable to resist, apparently.) Real power is fear.  That’s the mantra seeded throughout veteran political reporter and one-half of Woodward and Bernstein Bob Woodward’s diligently reported behind-the-scenes look at the Trump White House. What does … Continue reading Be Very Afraid

Legacy of the Pale Horse and the Grandaddy of Conspiracy Theorists

Book review: Pale Horse Rider, by Mark Jacobson Book Depository Even a broken clock is right twice a day; that’s what they say about people who are supposed to be crackpots. It’s the idea that there is a moment in time when even the most outlandish contention, the most eccentric point of view, the most unlikely person, somehow lines up with the shifting reality to … Continue reading Legacy of the Pale Horse and the Grandaddy of Conspiracy Theorists

Supernatural, Paranormal, Surreal But True Tales from the US Government

Book review: The Men Who Stare at Goats, by Jon Ronson In 1979 a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the U.S. Army. Defying all known accepted military practice—and indeed, the laws of physics—they believed that a soldier could adopt a cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them. Journalist Jon … Continue reading Supernatural, Paranormal, Surreal But True Tales from the US Government

A Journalist on Clinton’s Campaigns and Her Own Role in Covering Them

Book review: Chasing Hillary, by Amy Chozick Amazon / Book Depository I just wanted to tell good stories that helped explain the world to people. Every time I read another campaign trail or White House memoir, I tell myself that’s enough. Then a new one comes out and I can’t seem to resist. Longtime traveling journalist on the Hillary Clinton beat Amy Chozick’s Chasing Hillary is the … Continue reading A Journalist on Clinton’s Campaigns and Her Own Role in Covering Them

How the Message Got Made in Obama’s White House

Book review: West Winging It, by Pat Cunnane (Amazon / Book Depository) This year and last have seen a wave of newly published memoirs from former Obama staffers. I read speechwriter David Litt’s wonderful, charming Thanks, Obama last year, so after that I was on board with the genre. West Winging It begins with a similar premise – young college grad Pat Cunnane stumbles into his first “real” job … Continue reading How the Message Got Made in Obama’s White House

Hilarious, Acidic Commentary From the 2016 Campaign Circus

Book review: Insane Clown President, by Matt Taibbi (Amazon/ Book Depository) Who knows what will come next, but that’s not really what this story is about. “Insane Clown President” instead describes how we got here. Matt Taibbi is one of several journalists who covered the madness of the Trump campaign on the ground and has since published in longer form about the experience. Taibbi’s dispatches … Continue reading Hilarious, Acidic Commentary From the 2016 Campaign Circus

The Book Making America Read Again

Book review: Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff Amazon First, I have to apologize for what I wrote in one of my books to anticipate in 2018 posts. I can’t believe I even considered NOT reading this book, in light of everything that’s happened around it since. To be fair, I think the day I published that post was the same day this started making headlines and … Continue reading The Book Making America Read Again

Follow the Money: Examining What’s Known About Trump & Co. in Russia

Book review: Collusion, by Luke Harding (Amazon / Book Depository) How to explain Trump’s consistent praise of Putin? In the febrile months leading up to the November 8, 2016 vote, Trump had lambasted not only Clinton and Obama but also his Republican Party rivals, Saturday Night Live, the “failing” New York Times, the U.S. media in general—his favorite enemy—and Meryl Streep. And others. It was … Continue reading Follow the Money: Examining What’s Known About Trump & Co. in Russia

An Obama Speechwriter On Work, Country, and Getting Things Done in the White House

Book review: Thanks, Obama by David Litt (Amazon / Book Depository) Few activities offer less upside than a staring contest with the president. But now, having started one, I didn’t know how to stop. I considered averting my gaze, like a shy maiden in a Jane Austen novel, but that would only make things more awkward. I kept looking at President Obama. President Obama kept looking … Continue reading An Obama Speechwriter On Work, Country, and Getting Things Done in the White House

America’s Historian Evokes The National Spirit, Its Lessons and Promise

Book review: The American Spirit, by David McCullough History, I like to think, is a larger way of looking at life. It is a source of strength, of inspiration. It is about who we are and what we stand for and is essential to our understanding of what our own role should be in our time. History, as can’t be said too often, is human. … Continue reading America’s Historian Evokes The National Spirit, Its Lessons and Promise