So Many Books, So Little Time

Is Michael Cohen's book now chopped liver?

Making a bigger splash today is the release of Bob Woodward's Rage,, which exposes more of Donald Trump's incompetence and lie, as told to Woodward by Trump himself, in 18 separate interviews, only 3 of which took place in office settings: The remaining 15 were Trump calling Woodward late at night from his private (and likely unrecorded) phone line from the White House bedroom. It may be that Trusty Trump let Woodward record his calls without him recording at his end. Which would mean White House Staffers have never heard most of the 18 hours of tapes. No wonder they weren't all over the air last night giving advice.

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, all hired at the start of Trump's presidency, are quoted detailing their frustrations with Trump's inability to focus, their alarm over his refusal to accept facts or listen to experts, their fears over the consequences of his impulsive decision-making -- and one top official even suspected Russian President Vladimir Putin had something on Trump.

The Washington Post published snippets of Trump's taped comments to Woodward.

Wouldn't a normal person in Trump's situation apologize and resign, after which the media would get in position to broadcast his final frog-march across the White House lawn, with his stiletto-heeled wife and towering son at his side? But Donald Trump is not normal. [More...]

The American public has become so numb to Donald Trump, and so dumbed-down by his false facts and alternate reality that they have lost interest in his pecadillos. They expect it from him. Anyone thinking this is the final nail in his political coffin will be disappointed. The more Trump gets dumped on, the more his considerable base extols his virtues.

I am not thrilled that Bob Woodward sat on this story since February. I heard Don Lemon defend Woodward tonight, saying it's Trump we should be complaining about, it's not a journalist's job to save lives. We can do two things and probably chew gum at the same time. We are complaining about Trump. But had Woodward exposed Trump's now-admitted lies earlier, lives could have been saved. I don't think a response like "It's not my job" plays that well in 2020.

But, speaking of Freddie Prinze (RIP), this 10 second clip sure does play well:

Unfortunately, Donald Trump's under-informed, marginalized supporters couldn't care less that he will lie and cheat his way into a second term. Neither do America's "oligarchs" who likely funded the disappearing (or poorly spent) $800K of his $1.1 billion campaign fund. They will vote Republican because they have an inkling Dems will raise their taxes.

But right now one the biggest reasons for defeating Trump in 2020 is so that his daughter, son-in-law and sons can go back to wherever they came from and spend a few years licking their wounds rather than announcing a run for federal office next year. Mama Ivanka as President, Jared as Secretary of State, Tiffany, the newly minted lawyer, as Attorney General, Don, Jr. as Vice President, and Eric as head of Dentistry for Health and Human Services. Don's girlfriend Kimberly, should she stick around, could be head of border patrol. What undocumented person trying to slink into the country wouldn't run like the devil to get away from her hollering at them?

I think after leaving the White House, Trump may elect to go to a nursing home for those with dementia rather than jail, and I hope those are his only two options on January 21, 2021. If Trump loses, I suspect Ivanka and Jared will be kaput in no time, each accusing the other of failing in their political roles or failing their children by never being home with them.

Claudia Conway will get a part in the remake of "Shapes of Thing to Come." She'll be the one belting out "14 or Fight". Her mother will rue the day she thought she could impose more "mama time" and less "drama time" in the family home, after (according to Claudia) barely showing her face for four years.

Another day. Another book. Which excerpt will prove to be the straw that broke the camel''s back? Or, is the media's continued piling-on just adding fuel to his supporters' fire, bringing them all out on election day to vote for their hero, while the former Bernie supporters stay home or vote green?

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    Bob Woodward held that information (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by fishcamp on Thu Sep 10, 2020 at 08:23:22 AM EST
    way to long in order to make money with his book.  Too many lives were at stake.  However as a cameraman we used to get lectured before certain animal shows about our responsibility to get the shot as opposed to rescuing the wounded prey from the second and final attack.  Not that I wanted to grab the dying pheasant from the talons of a mantling eagle.  I was told to do that once so we could get another attack shot of the eagle before she gorged.  Woodward has always been a marginal type person who thrives on another's death knell, so  if Trump gets dinged for this one Woodward should too.

    He didn't really "hold" the information (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 10, 2020 at 03:35:49 PM EST
    The publication date of the book was set.  All the way back when the interviews were taking place.
    That was part of the discussion.  Why would you talk to Woodward for a book you know is going to come out a month before the election.

    As far as him not telling us all this stuff I don't think its realistic to expect him to put all this stuff out in advance.  
    That's the first thing.

    Beyond that, this is a pretty damn perfect time for this to come out.  This is going to make certain Trumps response to the virus will be the central issue of the election.

    Which is exactly what Biden wants.


    Like I said (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 10, 2020 at 02:50:21 PM EST
    The Editorial Board

    I don't normally blame presidents for everything. This time is different, though. We now know the president's goal was deception with deadly consequences. This is more than negligent homicide. This is criminal intent. And yesterday, he confessed to the crime. Where can normal Americans turn for justice? I wish I knew the answer.

    It's now clear Trump's intent was criminal

    My fave: Kushner's citing of the Cheshire Cat. (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 10, 2020 at 03:47:00 PM EST
    It seems like "look at the spider" distracting technique for so many pundits to cast blame on Woodward. The culprit here is Trump.  Failure to act in the face of solid information. "I take no responsibility."

    Agreed (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Thu Sep 10, 2020 at 05:39:07 PM EST
    Woodward is, after all, an investigative journalist.  And a Republican one at that.  Indeed, in his last Trump book he secured his access by impeaching the Steele dossier.

    Woodward's ethics and judgment may be at question, but no one elected him to the presidency,  Trump is the culpable one to the extent of reckless endangerment of thousands of American lives, the health of even more, and the economic consequences for individual citizens and the nation.

    The Republicans and Trump are left with defending the indefensible at which they are now hard at work.  But, it is unlikely to work.  Even Barr's upcoming October surprise, whatever it may be, will be a casualty of Trump's evil and unscrupulous lying.


    Picking up on the internet bedwetting (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 10, 2020 at 05:45:06 PM EST
    Trump himself is now asking why Woodward did not "warn people"

    You seriously can't make this stuff up.


    Here (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 10, 2020 at 05:47:51 PM EST
    And Biden should have instituted a mask mandate (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Sep 16, 2020 at 08:17:02 AM EST
    President Trump blamed Joe Biden, who is not currently President, for not instituting a national mask mandate during the coronavirus pandemic, the HuffPost reports.

    Said Trump: "They said at the Democrat convention they're going to do a national mandate. They never did it, because they've checked out and they didn't do it. And a good question is, you ask why Joe Biden--they said we're going to do a national mandate on masks."

    Daily Beast: "This must have sounded much better inside his head."


    Biden's team later chipped in with a helpful reminder to Trump, writing on Twitter: "To be clear: I am not currently president."

    This was at the disastrous ABC town hall where he called for dealing with the virus with "herd mentality"


    The old "red herring" technique (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 13, 2020 at 04:26:27 PM EST
    Whatever we call it, any undue focus on Woodward's timing is the kind of deflection that is not necessary at this time.  The whole issue about "the role of reporters and pundits" and all potential ethical ramifications may best be addressed in discussion sessions, journalism classes after this election is all over ... similar to the articles and institution of ethics classes/CLE requirements for attorneys post-Watergate.

    I feel as Jeralyn does. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Sep 15, 2020 at 02:03:31 PM EST
    I'm rather angry that Bob Woodward held off on disclosure. But that said, you're right. The time and place for that discussion is after the election, not now.

    The tapes (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 10, 2020 at 06:12:52 PM EST
    The tapes.  They really are something.  Beyond the obvious horror of what Trump says.

    There is the strange uncharacteristic, to Trumps public persona, lucidity.  You hear someone who doesn't sound stupid at all.

    Which is another layer.  It's so clear listening to him that he really really wants to sound smart to Woodward.  He is obsequious and ingratiating.  Constantly trying to "convince" Woodward of how smart and in charge he is.

    And there is the way Woodward manipulates him and keeps him talking.  There is a bit I love where Trump says something sort of rhetorical  like "I have to be honest ..."
    Woodward says, OH yeahhhh, I want you to be honest.
    Like he's talking to a 7 year old.

    I hope someone eventually (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 10, 2020 at 07:41:52 PM EST
    Shines a light on the possibility Trump wanted the virus to cripple the country

    The possibility he thought if it was bad enough he could cancel the election.  Especially since early on it was very much an urban blue state thing.

    There's more than ample evidence that ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Sep 15, 2020 at 02:00:48 PM EST
    ... Trump is an agent for advancing the Kremlin's interests, as are apparently several GOP members of Congress such as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).

    Whether all or any of their collusion has been witting or unwitting or some combination thereof is beside the point. Clearly, there's really no other rational explanation for the conscious and counterintuitive actions Trump's been taking, which are inflicting incalculable damage to the country. He's kneecapped us and it's going to take us years to fully recover. And to what country's ultimate benefit is that?

    Our institutional failure to plainly call out the elephant in the room for what it is -- e.g., the Mueller report, which danced around the subject and hinted, but couldn't bring itself to actually go there --  well, that's been a huge part of the problem. The voters now find themselves as the firewall.



    Woodward is on with Anderson Cooper (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 15, 2020 at 07:26:33 PM EST
    They are playing new tapes.  This is apparently going to be something for a while.  He is supposed to play more new ones tomorrow on Morning Joe.

    Anyway, there's a moment that was not really discussed on the show that really struck me.  Woodward is waxing about how he needs to get to know the people he writes about.  Trump says

    (Possibly not an exact quote)
    "You don't know me.  No, you don't know me.  After the election you will."

    That kind of made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

    I think the Lincoln (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 10, 2020 at 05:44:09 AM EST
    Project is going to go back to the GOP and say see we can take you down and you had better do what we want and make the changes that we want. And that will set off a circular firing squad.