Book review: Fire and Fury

I don’t usually read books about politics, but when I saw how freaked out Trump was about “Fire and Fury”, I knew I had to buy a copy. As others have pointed out, Wolff has done what other reporters wouldn’t dare do — destroyed his chances of getting further access to the White House in order to report. Having bought the book, I wasn’t sure I really wanted to read it.

Staggering hypocrisy, part 94

Guardian: Alexander Lukashenko, the authoritarian president of Belarus, is to be banned from travelling to the EU and US after riot police in Minsk arrested hundreds of opposition activists protesting against the results of last weekend’s elections. Meanwhile on Newsday: “We are concerned that false police statements may have tainted hundreds of cases of people arrested at the two largest mass arrests during the convention,” NYCLU attorney Christopher Dunn wrote to New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

John McCain, man of principle

John McCain, official apologist for the Republican Party, has apparently decided that he backs Bush’s decision to operate above the law and let the NSA spy on Americans with no warrants or official oversight required. He just, you know, wants to hear a good reason why Bush needed to ignore the law. Then it’ll all be all right.

Thinkpol update

Imagine: You’re a Republican party chairman at a taxpayer-funded ‘Town Hall’ meeting with the President. You notice that some of the people attending have a politically incorrect “No Blood For Oil” bumper sticker on their car. What do you do? Answer: Since it’s an official event, you can’t legally have them thrown out–so you have someone pretend to be a member of the Secret Service and tell them to leave. Then, of course, you claim to know nothing about what just happened.

John McCain

Something to remember next time you’re tempted to view John McCain as the acceptable face of the Republican Party: A last-minute amendment added by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would require the Department of Homeland Security to create an “integrated screening system” inside the United States. McCain envisions erecting physical checkpoints, dubbed “screening points,” near subways, airports, bus stations, train stations, federal buildings, telephone companies, Internet hubs and any other “critical infrastructure” facility deemed vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

No trick too dirty

Think you’re registered to vote? Better check, if you still have time… An employee of a private voter registration firm alleges that his bosses trashed registration forms filled out by Democratic voters because they only wanted to sign up Republican voters. […] Russell worked for a company called Voters Outreach of America, along with 300 other people. He says he got into a beef with the company over a pay dispute, and witnessed his bosses ripping up registration forms that had been filed by democrats.

Will your vote be counted?

The Black Box Voting web site has revealed that there’s an interesting ‘defect’ in the Diebold GEMS voting system’s central tabulator. If you enter an appropriate two-digit code into a hidden part of the system, the software creates a second database of votes. The second set of votes can be edited without any safeguards, and the voting system will report the final tallies from the bogus database rather than the one containing the real votes.

Those wacky Republicans

Here are some of the plots against the Republican party being planned by the evil liberal menace, according to Bernadette Malone, a columnist for the National Review and other right-wing publications: Releasing swarms of mice to terrorize delegates. Dressing up as RNC volunteers and giving false directions to old ladies. Hiring prostitutes with AIDS to seduce Republican visitors and persuade them that they don’t need to use condoms. I hope Crystal remembered to pack the mice.

Ask not for whom the bone bones, it bones for thee

Well, the disaster is playing out as my black, pessimistic heart knew it would. Kerry the two-faced weasel has won a bunch more primaries, and Dean has yet to win any. Why is this bad? Because I’m convinced Kerry is less electable than Al Gore. The problem is, Kerry picks up the votes of the DLC faithful, the ones who believe that the path to success is massive quantities of special interest money, preaching liberal values, and voting for whatever the opinion polls tell you to vote for.

Microsoft and Groove

Ray Ozzie, one of the founders of Lotus, has been sighted standing obediently behind Bill Gates at the Windows XP media events. Obviously the fact that Microsoft paid Groove (Ray’s new startup) $51m is the reason. Equally obvious is the fact that Groove will suffer the same fate as most of the other companies that have decided to let Microsoft invest in them. Expect to see Groove technology bundled into Windows and .